Practical Help for Bilingual Families

These pages are and can only hope to be a brief overview, to give those who are interested in bilingualism in the family a place to start. If you want to know more, turn to the Books and Newsletters page to find good sources. The Bilingual Families mailing list, biling-fam, is a great place for parents and future parents of bilingual families to ask for help and advice on the matter, or just to share your troubles and joys with people in a similar situation. If you'd like to know more, there's more information back on the main page. You can also read about my family's story, or the stories of other families on the members' pages.


Many parents find that having a fixed pattern for language use in the home makes things easier, both for the children learning the languages and for the adults in their day-to-day life with two (or more) languages. Here are a few of the more common patterns.


Adapted from the Harding and Riley book listed on the Resources page. None of these are unbreakable, but they are good guidelines for making bilingualism work for most families.

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