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English/Tagalog bilingual/bicultural

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A Filipino person I met told me that his family bought a place in SoCal so that he could go to school there... He went to a junior high/high school/univ (USC) there but his family made sure he would be bilingual (actually tri- as he now speaks Tagalog and Visayan fluently). For that reason, he said he was sent to the Philippines every summer and winter holiday to learn/maintain his Tagalog/Visayan.

If you have a child and you want him or her to be truly bilingual/bicultural, how often should you send your child to the Philippines?

What would be the best way to ensure he or she becomes truly bilingual/bicultural?

Don’t allow him or her to mingle with any Filipino speaking persons in the US and have him or her only speak Tagalog in the Philippines?

Just wondering... Would like to hear from the persons who raised/educated their children...

Thank you!

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I think depends in what country u live and what language is the main language at their school and what languages gets spoken at home.

My son now fully tri lingual English, Thai and mine native language. He was mostly enrolled at International schools which has helped.With me he spraks in mine language and with his Thai mom he speaks usually in Thai and with the Uk bf of his Thai mom he speaks in english. We all good friends and when we go out for a dinner or so he easily shifts back forward in his languages.For him its very normal.Now i like him to start learning German as his fourth language he is 13 years.

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4yo son went to US speaking only Cebuano. First year only speaks Cebuano, with his mother. Enters Kindergarten and quickly picks up English. Completes k-12 in US only speaking Cebuano with mother but rarely. English skills excellent. Returns Maasin 8 months after graduating hs in US and very rapidly reacquires Cebuano, sufficient to enter college where he picks up Tagalog having to pass and graduate. Now tri-lingual.

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My experience/observation of this is that, if you're doing it "on your own", one language should be spoken at home and the other outside of the home. In the US, this should be Filipino in the home and English outside while in the Philippines it should be the other way around.  This works best if both parents speak both languages well AND have the discipline to create a single language environment at home.   It falls apart when the parents can sensibly only use one language to communicate between themselves resulting in a bias towards one language.

In addition to non-English language (Italian, Greek etc.) communities, in Ontario there are French immersion schools.  Ontario parents who are strong on their children being English/French bilingual will send the kids to immersion. All school work and homework is done in French. This does seem to work. It probably works better if the parents have some level of competency in French also.

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