Mholo! Xhosa 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.
If you are a Xhosa speaker living abroad and want your child to keep up your language, here are some tips:
– start as early as possible: speak Xhosa to your baby from birth, or as early as possible.
– make it part of your routines: use Xhosa 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 Xhosa, 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 Xhosa in their environment. Find a Xhosa speaking parent and toddler group in your area or arrange meetings with other families who speak Xhosa. 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 Xhosa, or when they learn to read, don’t focus on the errors but praise their efforts and show them how much you enjoy speaking Xhosa to them.
Want more? Check out our resources below!