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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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Im raising a multilingual toddler (15 months) at home. Daddy

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I'm raising a multilingual toddler (15 months) at home. Daddy and his side of the family speaks mandarin. I and my family side speaks Cantonese. But all of us were raised in Canada for 20 years and English has been our education medium and of course I want my son to learn all 3 languages and more if possible. But at the same time I don't want to confuse him. I notice that his verbal ability is a bit slower than other kids. What do you suggest I do with him onwards given our unique situation to best raise him. Language rules at home? what language shall we deliberately enforce? I heard from experts at some schools stresses on mother tongue which they think will enhance the kid's congitive and intellectual abilities. Even I'm confused. Which should I use as mother tongue.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 5 years ago.



I'm a polyglot myself. Because you he's to be interacting with English speaking children and teachers, you would want to stress the English language first as his primary language.

Then, you being the primary caregiver and his mother can tech him your native language.

When he is older, he can still pick up on his fathers language once he has had the foundation of these two languages.


You may consider which language is more widely used- Mandarin or Cantonese and how much he could practice either language with native speakers that are not always family members. As long as there is someone for him to speak with on a regular basis, he can initially start with the English and Cantonese while he's still young. As he gets older, you can introduce him to Mandarin.

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