Language problems in bilingual family
The Bilingual Princess cannot speak her mother's language. What to do? Drawing by Henrik Mäkinen

4 problems solved by the 20x20 seconds method


The Bilingual Fluency online course is designed to resolve 4 common bilingual parenting problems by using the 20x20 seconds method of Bilingual Speech Activation. This course helps when your child:

1) Does not speak your language.

2) Asks you not to speak your language.

3) Has recently stopped speaking your language.

4) Can speak your language, but prefers not to speak it.

1. When your child does not speak your language

Even if your child has never begun to speak your language, it is possible to help them start now. Or maybe your child spoke single words of your language as a toddler, but when  they began to form sentences the sentences only came out in the language of where you live. In both of these cases your child cannot speak your language. It is not their choice. It is not a protest.

But if your child is happy to hear you speaking your language to them in everyday situations, we already have a good starting point. We need to help them build the skill to speak your language. We do that with kindness and love, supercharged with the 20x20 seconds method. The best news is that it works and that it does not take the whole day.

When you learn to use the method correctly, you can take your child from a handful of words to fluent speech in half a year. 

2. When your child asks you not to speak your language

The situation is a bit more complicated when children do not want to hear the parent's language spoken to them. They can demand you to speak their preferred language when they are angry. They can beg you to speak their preferred language when they are crying. They can make heart felt pleas for you to stop speaking your language in a moment of cuddles and closeness.

Whenever your child asks you not to speak your language, you should listen and take it very seriously indeed. This is one of the crucial turning points of bilingual parenting, because it indicates that your child does not understand what you are saying, even if you think that they understand.

Even when bilingual child development is in trouble as deep as this, the 20x20 seconds method can help the parent and the child to find a happy way to reintroduce the parent's language into their relationship.  We can achieve that by starting from emotions. Your child will have worries and feelings of failure that we need to calm first to create the necessary serenity for your language to return into your child's life as something unthreatening.

If you are booking the Bilingual Fluency online course to resolve this problem, it is very important that you book also the special additional resources for children who do not want to hear their parent's language. There is tailored help for you to use right at the beginning of the course. 

3. When your child has recently stopped speaking your language

At any age a bilingual child can go through a fast process of dropping a language from their spoken repertoir. This often happens when they start childcare or school in the local majority language. If your child used to speak your language in full sentences, but has stopped speaking your language in the last 3-4 months, then bringing the language back with the 20x20 seconds method is light work. 

Nurturing bilingualism is about "use it or lose it". It is important to know that if this situation is not resolved fast, within just months your child's ability to speak your language will deteriorate. Then they cannot speak the language even if they want to. Your child would be in the situation described in example 1, above. That can be resolved too.

However, if you are lucky enough to be acting within 3-4  months from your child starting to struggle with your language, then the 20x20 seconds method will give you fast results. Within 3 months of correctly using the method you can stabilise your child's fluent bilingual development again. Time is on your side if you act fast.

4. When your child can speak your language, but prefers not to

Even when bilingual children are able to express themselves in the parent's native language, they do not necessarily enjoy it. This can be seen when children begin their conversations in the local majority language and only use the parent's language when it is specifically requested. Or they begin in the parent's language, but soon switch to the language they know better. 

This is a sign that the skill gap between the two languages is too big for the weaker language to serve the real communication needs of your child. They cannot express their thinking, emotions and creativity in a truncated language. Why would they want to, when their parent understands their stronger language in which they can be truly themselves? Who would want to give up their eloquence just to obey some rigid language use rule?

This is the luckiest situation of all in which to use the Bilingual Fluency online course. When you start using the 20x20 seconds method with a child like this, speech activation happens literally instantly. In conversation recordings from Bilingual Family Consultancy clients, whenever the parent gets the method right, the child responds in the parent's language. Whenever the parent does not use the method, the child speaks their stronger language to the parent.

A parent in this situation can start using the 20x20 seconds method every day and see the results happening in front of their eyes every day. Within 3 months the parent and the child can be fluently chatting in the parent's native language while also extending the child's language towards two native-like languages. 

If any of these descriptions sounds like your family, then you could find out more about the Bilingual Fluency online course by signing up to our mailing list.

If you do not have any of these problems, then you do not need the Bilingual Fluency online course.