The Importance Of Being Bilingual

This goes way back when my kid was six years old and as research has indicated that there are psychological benefits of learning another language. We, as parents thought it would be good to get him started as an immature since it helps in brain growth and aids in boosting memory.

The Importance Of Being Bilingual

So, we enrolled him to learn Hindi for an hour on Sunday mornings.

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Needless to say, there was unrest in the house (yes, a preschooler can lift the roof with his pinkie finger and bring chaos)

According to this three-foot length individual, the homework was a torture since it was causing him severe mental and physical pain to write the alphabets and differentiate between vowels and consonants.

His constant whine was, “Do I have to learn this language? No one in my school knows to speak this dialect, so it is going to be a waste of time.”

I insisted while wearing a gentle smile (and controlling my animosity over this repeated situation) “You will realize the importance of this language as you grow up.”

His gruff was constant, “I do not think so!”

I would pretend I did not hear the above.

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Time flew and as kid’s extra curricular activities grew. We would look into the options of carpooling with other children for the similar activities just to ease each other’s schedules.

In one such ride, my son had a gloomy face. I asked him the reason behind it, and he just avoided me. I knew I ought to give him space so, was quiet. Picked up his friend, Daniel with whom I was carpooling and we were on our way.

Usually the boys are talking and laughing, but today there was total silence. This puzzled me, however; kept quiet, while I turned up the volume of the radio with the hope that the songs will make them hum along, and the friction between them will wear off.

Alas, nothing happened.

Then all of a sudden, I hear my kid shout out (music was loud), “Mom mujhe yeh ladka achha nahi lagta” (I do not like this boy)

I could not believe what I heard, and I was glad that I had just parked at my destination.

I quickly turned and was gazing at my son with pride. I did not care what he said, and even though it had blemishes; what really enthralled me that he used his “other language” to communicate to me.

I replied back in Hindi saying that we can talk about this issue at home and then I expressed my happiness about him using this dialect to communicate.

He sure did understand the value of being educated with another accent cause I could see him relieved after informing me about the other kid.

He started considering this accent as our secret jargon and now uses it when we are in the mall or supermarket or just about anywhere in public.

My 2 cents

As Geoffrey Willans said: “You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.”

I am glad we pressured him to learn this language even though the inhibitions were clearly exhibited by him. Every Sunday seeing that sulky face was not a delight. But, since the motive was clear we did not pay attention to his frowns but kept our eyes on the goal.

I was a proud parent since the mission was accomplished!

Conclusion

As a parent, we can sow the seeds of what we find is right or wrong in a child. Whether they follow it, or not is their destiny!

Ruchira Khanna is the author of Choices published on Amazon. She blogs at http://abracabadra.blogspot.com/

  • Vishal Bheeroo

    Hey Ruchira, being bilingual helps a great deal, I know English, can speak Hindi and also understand French. You have dispensed your children with good education and being bilingual, enable them to have a good grasp of languages.

  • With languages the more the merrier should be the motto. Our daughter is learning Telgu just by talking to her Telgu friends who do not know Hindi and they practice Hindi with her. All this without any cajoling from the grown up. Recently she helped me talk to a security guard in a building who could speak only Telgu. I felt so proud…

  • With languages the more the merrier should be the motto. Our daughter is learning Telgu just by talking to her Telgu friends who do not know Hindi and they practice Hindi with her. All this without any cajoling from the grown up. Recently she helped me talk to a security guard in a building who could speak only Telgu. I felt so proud…

  • Arun

    “I would pretend I did not hear the above.” -:)

  • Arijita Chakraborty

    After my ward started going to school, I planned to speak in English with him so that he finds the language comfortable in school too. Initially, after saying in English I used to repeat the same in our mother tongue so that he understands. Gradually I stopped repeating in mother tongue. Now what I see is that he understands what I say and also tries to reply with broken English. Yes he is learning. Parentlane App has got other effective solutions for you, so download it @ goo.gl/jEKRuK to explore.