Your Guide to the City...
Select a city from the box above and view listings for resources such as:
- Childcare Services
- Government Agencies
- Health Care
By Letizia Quaranta, editor of the bilingual parenting blog Bilinguepergioco
Parents who want their children to learn a language early on normally speak the language with them, but soon enough realize that this is not enough, as babies are missing the opportunity to interact with more people in that language, which would allow them to acquire a better command of the language, as well as help them perceive the need to use the language actively in certain contexts.
Playgroups are an effective solution in this sense as they complement the efforts of the family. A playgroup is not a language class, it’s an opportunity to speak and hear a language in a context other than home. It is a fun chance for kids and babies to play, one that is very effective because it requires interactions with multiple people and children. In any case, it is essential for parents, or other people very close to the child, to attend, both because these are the people that primarily transmit the use of the language, and because young or very young children would feel much more comfortable and safe. Parents’ presence is also important in order to provide consistency. Ideally, some of the activities conducted at the playgroup could and should be carried on at home, for instance, reading the same stories or singing the same songs, or simply revisiting the themes and words used at the playgroup. By hearing sounds, words, and phrases repetitively, you will assist your child with recognizing them and learn to use them.
Playgroups are particularly important for very young children, a fact that is easily underestimated. The first years, and the first year specifically, is when babies are most receptive to languages, so it is essential to create ample opportunities for hearing and using the language early on.
Finally, let’s not underestimate the value of playgroups for the parents themselves. Playgroups help parents to stay motivated and to be consistent, offer opportunities to compare and review their methodology, and also to see the results of their efforts. Some children who refuse to speak English at home happen to speak it without even noticing while they are playing.
At the end of the day the secret to raising bilingual children is motivation (which by the way is a key ingredient of success in most circumstances). Parents need motivation to stick to a methodology and be consistent. Children need motivation to speak the language. One of the main objectives of the playgroups is precisely this, keeping parents and children motivated.
Excerpt from Bilingue Per Gioco.
For more info on Playgroups and Bilingualism in general see Bilingue Per Gioco or contact email@example.com.
Family Activities in Umbria near Lake Trasimneo
"Child-friendly" Takes Center Stage in Florence
Lake Maggiore with Kids
Beyond Pompeii: Off-the-Beaten-Path Family-friendly Attractions in Naples and the Amalfi Coast
Visiting Florence with Kids
Family Activities in Umbria near Lake Trasimeno
The Best Family Restaurants in Turin
The Old Port of Genoa: An Exciting Seafaring Destination for Kids
Milan's O Bej! O Bej! Christmas Market
Bilingual Preschoolers: Day Nursery and Kindergarten for Bilingual Children in Italy
Southern Italy's Christmas Nativity Scenes
10 Best Things for Kids to Do in Venice
A Year in Florence
Cultivating Culture - Art Appreciation in Rome Can Be Child's Play!
Cinque Terre with Kids
A Room with a View (and a Fire Escape): Emergency Preparedness on Your Family Holiday in Italy
Lake Garda with the Family
La Foce: An Idyllic Year-Round Retreat in Tuscany
The History of the Viareggio Carnival
Exploring Old Rome Without Air (or Time) Travel
Raising Bilingual Children: The Most Successful Methods
A Day in Naples with the Kids
Sundays in Chiusi - Adjusting to Family Life in Italy
An Inspirational Learning Environment - The Reggio Emilia Method
Keeping Children Safe in and around the Water
The Eternal City - Fun for Everyone!
Beautiful But Lonely - Not All of Italy's Museums Get Crowded
Interview with CiaoBambino.com founder Amie O'Shaughnessy
Tips on Bilingualism
FESTA Brings Alice and Wonderland to Teatro Lungo Binario in Florence
Celebrate La Mamma this Mother's Day
American kids discover whole other selves in Italy
Europe strengthens commitment to healthy environments for children
Labor of Love in Milan
Kids' camp in Tuscany provides families with a fun alternative to traditional sightseeing
International Team Rebuilds Ancient Rome Digitally