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Segmented thoughts

Dec 10, 2010

Monolingual mom raising multilingual child

So if you know me, you know I have had high expectations for my child(n future children) long before she was conceived. One of those expectations is that she(they) will be multi-lingual. From birth I have been teaching her(and my self) sign language and now I feel it is time to introduce Arabic at home( I fully intend on introducing Spanish latter on in her life). So here, today marks my official journey into multi lingualism.

Arabic Action Plan


  • Speak as much Arabic on Fridays as possible (eventually I will limit my self to only speaking in Arabic, to her on Fridays)
  • Read Arabic books as much as possible
  • (I have recently begun to build an Arabic Library, thanks to the suggestions of a fellow blogger (http://readkutubkids.wordpress.com/2010/12/07/books-to-start-an-arabic-play-group-ages-2-4/ )
  • I have purchased books from Noorart.com and Syraj.com

Media and Manipulatives

  • We will soon be the owners of Little Thinking Minds DVD set, it is similar to Baby Einstein
  • I am thinking of Purchasing little Pim
  • We now own Arabic puzzles


  • I have decided to start an Arabic playgroup. Insha allah we will be meeting once a week for a couple of hours starting in January.
  • If you are interested in joining or want to know more email me and or request to join at http://arabiyyah.qlubb.com/public

My DD's Language Background

  • English speaking home
  • Introduced to ASL
  • Watched by Arabic speaking daycare provider from 8 to 18 months


  • My limited Arabic proficiency

Addressing by studying as I teach

Using Rosetta Stone

Reading Quran out loud

  • My DD speech delay

Doing Speech therapy at home

watching speech therapy DVDs

seeking professional assistance

Singing (ASL)

DD's Learning style

  • Visual
  • Kinesthetic/tactile

If you have any suggestions of things I can add to our Action Plan please let me know


  1. If you don't mind doing television, I strongly suggest the 3alam Simsim (Sesame World) discs as an excellent route.

    Really, you will have to give me your address so I can mail you some, unless you're afraid the Egyptian accent will be too confusing.

    They do have some read-along stories on the 3alam Simsim website (although the accent is a bit Egyptian-y). http://www.alamsimsim.com/ar/articles.php?type=Books&cat_id=12

    Also, you can get some Arabic titles free on the International Digital Children's Library:

    And there are some things you can check out on YouTube, too, like the Al-Salwa books channel...and I will keep thinking!

  2. Salaam!

    I think that the key is to keep it up, doing the bits and pieces that you can to give her familiarity. She probably will not become fluent through your efforts, but they will be essential in giving her the exposure she needs to be able to pick up on it later.

    Then inshaAllah, if you have the means, once she reaches the age of 6 or 7, send her to immersion camps, or better yet, spend all of your summers abroad in the same country, for several years (perhaps you can teach in summer programs in these places). I think it is important for it to be the same country, so that her experiences can build upon one another, and also, she can began to identify with this place as a second or third home, as well, making her more in tune with the culture.

  3. May Allah guide and bless you inshaAllah! Kisses to my niece!


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