One Person, One Language

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Feb 23 20:11:33 UTC 2009

 Forwarded From:  edling at

One Person, One Language

A popular method for teaching young children to speak multiple
languages, the One Person, One Language system has both advantages and
challenges for the bilingual family.

Jeff grew up speaking both Spanish and English. Caroline, speaks only
English. They want their new baby to grow up bilingual, and they have
chosen the "One Person, One Language" (OPOL) method of language
learning to teach their son.

The OPOL method is one of the most widely used bilingual language
learning systems in the world, according to Dr. Barbara Zurer Pearson
in her book Raising a Bilingual Child [Living Language/Random House,
2008]. With OPOL, each parent speaks only the language that is native
to that parent when communicating with the child. Children quickly
learn to associate a particular language with the appropriate parent.

Full story:


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at


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