BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge - Multi-lingualism in children

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Multi-lingualism in children

German-language skills are a prerequisite for being successful at school and later in life at work.

Your children should therefore have sufficient opportunity to learn German so that they can follow their lessons in school. There will be various support programmes at kindergarten or in the child day care centre for learning German.

Having said that, your mother tongue (also referred to as your first language or family language) is also very valuable for your children's future, for example as a special skill in their career later in life.

It is a major opportunity for children to grow up speaking two or more languages. If you speak one or more languages other than German at home, it is important to also speak these languages with your children.

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Speak to your children in the language that you speak best. Make clear rules about which language will be spoken when and with whom. This means that your child can attribute the languages to different people (e.g. to mother, father, grandparents, the kindergarten staff) or to occasions (e.g. eating together).

There are also opportunities to support your first language or family language outside the family. For example there are bilingual kindergartens/child day care centres in some towns.

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Also enquire at your citizens' advice bureau about suitable local kindergartens and daycare centres.

Date 17 December 2015

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