Book review: Bringing up a Bilingual Child by Rita Rosenback

Bottom line: Worth the read, especially if you haven’t read any similar books before

ritabook_This book is set up to be read either straight through if you’re just starting out, or to be referred back to as children get older. As indicated on the cover, it goes through what the author calls the “Seven C’s of multilingual parenting”: Communication, Confidence, Commitment, Consistency, Creativity, Culture, and Celebration. Each chapter is a quick read with basic suggestions.

What I really liked about this book

It stays light on the theory. If I’m picking up a book about raising a bilingual child, chances are I don’t need 30 pages of research to back up the decision – I’ve already made up my mind. This book acknowledges that and cuts to the chase about implementation.

I also liked that the book takes you through how to make a language plan, calculate exposure, and gives ideas on how to increase your child’s exposure to the minority language (which, in our case, is French).

What I wasn’t so keen on

It got repetitive in some sections. This is probably intentional as the book can be used as a reference and some ideas apply to more than one section. However, when reading through it from start to finish, I sometimes felt like I was re-reading the same information.

Many of the ideas in the book assumed that the second language was at least one parent’s native language. Since my first language is English and I’m trying to pass along French to my kids, a lot of the cultural ideas didn’t apply.

Even with these shortcomings, I’m glad I picked up this book. It was a quick read with some great information. Our local library has it. If yours doesn’t, you can find it on Amazon here. If you’re looking for other book options, I reviewed three others last August here.

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