If you are in a multi-cultural marriage, the chances are that you will speak another language other than the common language you share with your spouse. But should you take the time to teach your spouse your language? This article will look into some of the pros and cons of teaching your spouse your language.
Teaching a child to tie their shoe laces is an act that will need to be repeated again and again until the child has learned the concepts required to be able to tie their own shoe laces. Teaching your spouse your language is also something that will require a sustained and repeated effort. It is not as easy as it sounds. After all, you are well qualified to teach your spouse your language, as you already know the language. But is that enough? You must be a patient teacher, not be quick to correct your spouse each time they stumble or mispronounce a word and avoid laughing at them at all costs!
Teaching your spouse your language involves more than getting them to repeat words and phrases after you like a parrot. It means making time to teach your spouse about your language in small stages without overwhelming them. The key is to build up their vocabulary gradually and to then flesh it out into common, everyday speech.
It helps if you can teach your spouse the relevance of what you are teaching them. Do they really need to know how to say there are 5 elephants standing in line? Also, be careful when teaching grammar. While some spouses thrive on learning foreign grammar, for others it will just go over their head. They must see for themselves how to use tenses correctly and how to form a grammatically correct sentence. Did you learn how to conjugate verbs when you first starting learning to talk as a toddler? Language will make more sense if it is relevant. It is also easier to remember.
Before you even have children, try to give your spouse a good grasp of your language. This will be a wonderful contribution to the family when children do come along and your spouse won’t feel quite so isolated. You will be surprised to see how quickly your children will master both languages!
Both spouses must agree to teach and be taught another language and the relevance of it must be clearly understood. If it is just a half-hearted attempt, then it will not last. To be truly successful, a couple must work together and use the language in a natural setting, rather than confining it to formal, sit down lessons.