Bringing up your bilingual dog

Bilingual dog

If you are a family raising bilingual children and you own a dog, you might be wondering if your pooch is able to understand more than one language as well. There is scientific evidence that dogs can learn to understand many different words – a border collie called Chaser, featured in a Scientific American article, learned over 1000 – so there is no reason to believe that your pet would not be able to learn words from more than one language.

So, how would you go about training a dog in two different languages? Here are a few points to remember:

1. Intonation is important

Although studies have shown that dogs can understand and process words separate from their intonation, just like humans do, tone of voice is still very important in conveying meaning. If a dog is praised with an excited, happy voice, the reward centre of their brain will be activated. If the same words are used with a flat, emotion-less tone, this will not happen. When using two different languages, using intonation becomes even more important in helping your pooch to understand what you are trying to say.

2. Hand gestures are helpful

Using the same hand gestures for commands in both languages will help your dog to understand that different words can mean the same thing. You may find that the gestures do more to tell the dog what you want it to do than anything that is coming out of your mouth, and this can be a good thing – especially in a family where multiple languages are spoken.

3. Practice the minority language with the dog

Having a dog is a great way to get your kids to practice the minority language. Sure, your pooch will never be able to answer back, but encouraging your children to speak to your dog in the minority language will give them a little extra practice beyond just talking to you and family members on Skype.

In a bilingual family, dealing with more than one language is a way of life: even for the pets. As an added bonus, you can impress your dinner guests with your amazing bilingual dog!

End of artigo. Leave your comments below.

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Silvia is a Brazilian journalist, teacher, and mom. She grew up in Canada as a bilingual child, speaking only Portuguese at home and English everywhere else. Throughout her adult life, she has lived, studied and worked in both Brazil and Canada. Silvia thinks that bilingualism has opened so many doors for her and she wants the same for her children.

Expatriado: Você fala português com seus filhos?

Você fala português com seus filhos?

Muitos brasileiros e portugueses (mães e pais) residindo no exterior não passam o português como língua de herança pros filhos. Este fato ocorre principalmente com aqueles que são casados com estrangeiros. Sempre que conheço uma mãe ou pai de nacionalidade brasileira ou portuguesa aqui nos Estados Unidos, eu, inevitavelmente, pergunto: “Você fala português com seus filhos?” Em ordem de maior frequência, as respostas que sempre escuto são:

1. “Não, ele só entende inglês.”

2. “Eu não falo porquê o pai (ou a mãe) dele não fala português.”

3. “Eu falo, mas eu misturo muito as duas línguas.”

4. “Eu falo, mas ela só responde em inglês.”

5. “Eu falava quando ele era pequeno, mas depois que o coloquei na escolinha, ele não quis falar mais.”

6. “Eu falava, mas fui orientada pela professora (ou speech therapist) a manter somente o inglês”

7. “Eu só falo português com meus filhos. Eles são bilíngues. Falam português e inglês muito bem!”

Qual é sua resposta mamãe ou papai?

A resposta número 7 é a que menos escuto. Apesar de nunca prolongar a conversa e nunca opinar na criação dos filhos dos outros, eu sempre e silenciosamente me pergunto: “Por quê?” O que leva um pai ou uma mãe que nasceu e cresceu no Brasil ou em Portugal a deixar de falar sua língua materna com seu próprio filho em plena segunda década do século 21?

Quais são os benefícios de crescer monolíngue em um mundo bilíngue? Cerca de 60% da população do mundo é bilíngue – falam duas ou mais línguas. Hoje em dia, é muito comum nascer em um país e viver em outro, com outro idioma, outra cultura. E aqueles que nunca tiraram os pés da sua pátria, certamente já navegaram ou navegam o mundo pela internet.

De forma direta ou indireta, nós nos comunicamos diariamente com pessoas de outros países, com outras línguas maternas, outras culturas. Seja em casa, no trabalho, na escola, no trem, no ônibus, no subway, na rua, no parque, na igreja ou simplesmente navegando pela internet. A nossa cidade, o nosso país, o mundo ao nosso redor está cada dia mais povoado com esta linda mistura de culturas e idiomas. Esta mistura, que sempre foi e sempre será a identidade dos Estados Unidos, tem por muito tempo gerado uma população bilíngue.

Nas décadas passadas, normal mesmo era ser e crescer monolíngue; falar apenas a língua do país onde você nasceu e/ou reside, pois ser bilingue era associado com ser imigrante, ser inferior ou diferente dos outros americanos. Outros, cujos pais, avós ou pelo menos bisavós, também eram imigrantes. Irônico, não é mesmo?

Todos nós sabemos que aqui nos Estados Unidos existia uma cultura “totalmente sem cultura!” de se achar que criar filhos bilíngues era algo socialmente “incorreto” digamos. Falar a língua de origem do pai ou mãe, além do inglês, era motivo para discriminação. Felizmente, isto vem se tornando coisa do passado!

Hoje vivemos em um país e um mundo bilíngue. Nós somos expostos à diferentes línguas e culturas diariamente na vida real ou virtual. informação, amizades, trabalhos, grandes ideias, negócios, etc… residem no mesmo endereço: “www” para “world wide web”. Este grande avanço da tecnologia não só modificou o mundo virtual, mas modificou também sociedades, pessoas, pensamentos. Hoje mais e mais pessoas estão cientes dos grandes benefícios em criar filhos bilíngues, quando esta é uma opção.

Hoje o normal é ser bilíngue! Ser monolíngue é cada vez algo menos comum e desfavorável, principalmente para a geração futura – nossos filhos. Se você é um pai ou uma mãe de nacionalidade brasileira ou portuguesa, residindo nos Estados Unidos, ou em qualquer outro país cuja língua nacional não seja o português, eu lhe pergunto: Você fala português com seus filhos? Por quê sim ou por que não?

Fim do artigo. Deixe seu comentário abaixo.

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Livros infantis em português para brasileirinhos nos EUA. Veja abaixo!

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Born in Brazil, Ana Cristina moved to the United States in 1999. Following the birth of her first daughter in 2011, she realized how important it was that she pass on her native language and culture to her children. As a result, she decided to create her own line of books and founded ABC Multicultural (former Little Gringo) in 2013.

5 Benefits of Raising Bilingual Children

raising bilingual children

The ability to speak two languages fluently can be acquired from education, immigration, from being born or residing in bilingual countries, or from being born in a multicultural family. The advantage of being born in a multicultural family is the case of hundreds of thousands of children here in the United States. Parents who opt to raise their children bilingual are giving them great benefits, including the following five, which I consider very important:

1. Increased cognitive development

Bilingualism increases stimulation in the short memory that works in the storage and processing of information. This contributes to cognitive development, which drives the attention processes that the brain uses to understand, solve problems, evaluate, judge and make decisions. That said, we bilinguals, are ‘scientifically’ considered more intelligent than monolinguals. This is not a merely opinion, but a finding made by scientific research conducted in this area, such as: Working memory development in monolingual and bilingual children; Bilingual Kids Show Cognitive Advantages; Bilingual Effects in the Brain; The Bilingual Advantage; etc.

2. Increased intellectual development

Bilingual children tend to perform better in school, they reach higher grades on tests and exams, something showed in studies that compared the performance of bilingual and monolingual children, as for example: Bilingual pupils do better in exams, report finds; Bilingual classes ‘raise results‘; Bilingual kids do better at NAPLAN; etc.

3. Heritage preservation

For many parents, the greatest benefit of raising bilingual children is to preserve the family’s heritage and affectional bonds with family members living in another country. In most cases, the communication of bilingual children with grandparents, uncles and other relatives is only possible because of the fluency in the language inherited from the mother, father, or both. In an increasingly globalized world, people who fluently speak more than one language, whatever language that is, expand their ability to communicate in different cultural contexts and situations. This is an obvious benefit for anyone’s personal and professional life.

4. More professional opportunities

Being fluent in more than one language, no matter which language that is, always was and will be an additional qualification in one’s resume, which in many cases is crucial to getting a good job. Companies value people who have the ability to communicate in more than one language, as globalization is very present in the business world now a days. Bilingual people, especially those with dual nationality, expand their job opportunities within and outside of the United States.

5. Culture acquisition and self-identity

Bilingualism helps to build personality and self-esteem on children growing up in a multicultural family. Children who are able to communicate in their parents native language feel more confident, specially when around family and relatives who can’t speak the children’s first language. Understanding the language and culture inherited from parents give children a sense of personal identity. Finally, being bilingual is having the opportunity to experience other customs, other tastes, other beliefs. Bilingual children grow up emerged in cultural diversity and therefore learn to be inclusive very early in life. They appreciate
the multiculturalism existent in their families and in the world.End of artigo. Leave your comments below.

***

Books for babies and toddlers learning Portuguese. Click below to see more!

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Sapo Cururú

Rated 4.75 out of 5
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Alecrim Dourado

Rated 5.00 out of 5
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Rated 5.00 out of 5
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New
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Alecrim Dourado

Rated 5.00 out of 5
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Sale!

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Sapo Cururú

Rated 4.75 out of 5
$14.99 $9.99

Born in Brazil, Ana Cristina moved to the United States in 1999. Following the birth of her first daughter in 2011, she realized how important it was that she pass on her native language and culture to her children. As a result, she decided to create her own line of books and founded ABC Multicultural (former Little Gringo) in 2013.