Selam! Turkish is my mother tongue!

Selam! Turkish is my mother tongue!

More and more children all over the world are growing up speaking two or more languages. Being bilingual has incredible advantages for children.

Turkish is spoken by over 70 million people around the world. Did you know, when talking about someone in Turkish, you always give them a title such as “Uncle Deniz” or “Auntie Isra” instead of just their names. In 1932 the Turkish alphabet completely changed. Turkish was using the Arabic alphabet and then changed to the Latin alphabet, the onet we use in English.
In this fun podcast we produced with RTE’ Junior you can hear Benjamin. His mum is Turkish and his Dad is French. Benjamin talks about visiting his Grandparents in Turkey, his favourite Turkish food, meatballs and rice, and his favourite Turkish story about a boy who loves to eat meatballs and rice!

If you are a Turkish speaker living abroad and want your child to keep up your language, here are some tips:

start as early as possible: speak Turkish to your baby from birth, or as early as possible. 

make it part of your routines: use Turkish regularly in your routines, from preparing breakfast, to walking to the park, to bed-time routines. 

make a plan: plan games and activities to do together in Turkish , and check out our website for ideas and resources

identify resources: find books, games and other resources that can help you along the way.

find someone to help you: it is important for children to see that there are other families who speak Turkish in their environment. Find a Turkish speaking parent and toddler group in your area or arrange meetings with other families who speak Turkish. For older children, try to find a language class so your child can experience the language and the culture also outside the home.

– Praise your child’s success: when your child says a new word, when they talk to you in Turkish, or when they learn to read, don’t focus on the errors but praise their efforts and show them how much you enjoy speaking Turkish to them. 

Want more? Check out our resources below!

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