How can I teach my child to be bilingual?

Last night I read a blog post that said teaching kids to be bilingual is difficult. I’m finding this to be true.

DH speaks fluent Russian, and I only speak (understand) a little. Because of this, we do not often speak Russian in our household. While I would love to, and I encourage DH to speak to us in Russian, he feels it’s rude to speak with HB in a language I don’t fully understand.

An easier language for DH and I to teach HB would be Japanese or Spanish as we both studied these languages in school. Unfortunately, both my Spanish and Japanese are a little rusty — and so are his. At home, when DH is at work, HB and I will watch some shows in Spanish to begin learning together. It’s not working as well as I would have hoped.

I know that the best time to learn a foreign language is as a child, but I think, for right now, we will have to focus on English and learning the languages together. Maybe when HB is older, we can start her in am immersion school and she can help us with our language skills.

Have you found that it is difficult to teach your child a foreign language? If no, how did you start? If yes, what are your plans?

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