Tel/Fax: 080-3207-6191

Karen D. Bopp PhD S-LP(C).

Dr. Karen Bopp is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and a Post Doctoral Fellow in Special Education at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She has worked with children for over 16 years and is also the mother of preschool twin girls.
Her areas of expertise, (when she is not chasing after her twins), include early intervention for children with autism, speech and language development in the preschool years, positive behavior support, augmentative and alternative communication, and training for families and professionals.

All Articles
Biting 101
Breastfeading: Mothers Mik
Child Support Services
Child’s Play
Cooking With Kids
F.Prac: Acne
F.Prac: Antibiotics
F.Prac: Breast Cancer Awareness
F.Prac: Flu Vaccine
F.Prac: Letter to the Expert
F.Prec: Asthma
Get Reading
Jet Lag
Kindergarten Entry
Making New Friends
Molluscum Contagiosum
Mother Knows Best: It’s My Baby
Music Therapy
Paperwork Procedures
Positive Guidance (part 3)
Positive Guidance (part 2)
Relo: Activities for teens
Relo: Did you know (p1)
Relo: Did you know (p1)
Relo: Ward Offices
Saving Breastfeeding
Sleep in Babies
Soothers (p1)
Soothers (p2)
Speech: Baby Signs
Speech: Bilingual Kids (p1)
Speech: Bilingual Kids (p2)
Speech: Creative Stupidity
Speech: Language Development
Speech: Speech & Language
Speech:...not "talking" yet?
Stanger Danger
Stress in children
Tooth Decay

“In the last issue of Tokyo Families, I wrote about some common misconceptions that people sometimes have when raising a child in a bilingual environment. In this issue, I provide some simple suggestions to make “growing up bilingual” an enjoyable and successful experience for the whole family.”


1. Make a Plan.

The “golden rule” is to do what comes naturally to your family. But, it doesn’t hurt to discuss who will use what language and where, with your spouse, your child’s grandparents, his/her nanny, teachers etc.

2. Consider Exposure and Need.

Provide systematic exposure to both languages keeping in mind the terms, “exposure” and “need.” Children require exposure to a language, but also require a need to use that language to interact and communicate with others. If they have no need to use a language then they will most likely never become proficient in it.

3. Be a Good Language Model.

Be sure to model accurate and appropriate language skills to your child. In many families, a parent may use language of his or her spouse (e.g., Japanese) with the child, believing that s/he is providing a “consistent” language in the home. However, if that parent is only just learning Japanese, s/he may be modeling inappropriate sentence structure, vocabulary, and language use. The recommendation is that this parent NOT stop using Japanese in the home, but that s/he remembers to also provide regular, rich, and varied language experiences in her/his own mother tongue.

4. Variety is the Key.

In general, expose your child to both languages in a variety of ways. Do the things that you typically do as a parent to promote your child’s language development - just do them in both languages. For example, read books, play games, listen to music, watch videos, talk about their day, etc.

5. Don’t Stop!

Don’t abruptly stop the use of one language in favour of another (e.g., the language used in the community). Children require continued exposure to the language(s) in which they grow up in order to promote their overall language and cognitive development.

6. Let Others Know Mixing is Okay.

Let others know that if your child mixes his or her languages, it is a normal part of bilingual development.

7. Have Fun!

Remember that kids learn more when they are motivated, feel successful, and are having fun.