And parents who once thought that teaching two languages to the child might affect the child’s ability to learn their native language have been proven wrong. Children who learn two languages develop speaking skills as quickly as their peers, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. While children may initially have smaller vocabulary in both languages, the total number of words they know is the same as that of a monolingual child. And of course, when children work with languages, they both learn fluently. For children, the language they learn really depends on their parents. Parents whose mother tongue is not English often teach their children their own mother tongue.
Seeing your child learn a new language will motivate them to learn even more. While many parents and experts recognize the benefits of their children learning two languages (or more!), teaching children to learn two languages can be a challenge. Babies who grow up in homes where their parents or caregivers speak two languages tend to learn a second language very easily and naturally. English has become the lingua franca of the world, which means that English is the common language that people communicate with when they do not share a native language. Nowadays, many young people around the world have a pretty good understanding of English. That is, children who speak English as their mother tongue are very lucky.
Research has found that the brain response patterns of bilingual babies to speech are different from those of babies whose families speak only one language. Bilingual children show a continuous improvement in the distinction between two languages, e.g. Spanish and English, from 9 months of age (Garcia-Sierra et al., 2011). Increased exposure to both languages appears to be associated with a better ability to distinguish between the two.
Don’t forget that children who only learn one language often use the wrong word until they learn the right one, and adults often say “um” when the right word doesn’t come quickly. For example, if multilingual children can’t think of a word in Vietnamese, they can borrow it from French. This automatically disappears when you increase the vocabulary in each language. The best remedy is to be consistent when talking to your child.
Ask them to spend time with a native speaker, perhaps a tutor or a family friend. Try to find an extracurricular activity that takes place in a foreign language, such as formal language teaching or perhaps a local class that teaches music and dance from another country. Studies have shown that learning a second language at the beginning of life can actually help children do better in all areas of learning, including math, reading, and writing.
Other research has found that bilingual children have better working memory than children who speak only one language. Working memory stores, processes and updates information in short periods of time and is very important for problem solving and executive function (Morales, Calvo and Bialystok, 2013). One of the main advantages of learning a second language at a young age is that children learn languages faster and easier. They have more time to learn, less time to learn, fewer inhibitions, and a brain designed for language learning. In short, if you teach your child a second language at a young age, you don’t have to learn a second language as an adult.
Just because it’s easier for kids to understand the new language when they’re younger doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother trying to teach them until they’re teenagers.
This is great news for bilingual children who grow up in a bilingual home or are exposed to two or more languages at a young age. Because children learn languages much faster than adults, they can learn a second language at a young age and then spend their time in college specializing in a particular field they find interesting. Thus, these bilingual specialists can charge a lot of money to translate texts related to their experience. Bilinguals constantly experience mental training as they go through more than one language system to communicate.
For this reason, it is also so important for parents to use the native language as often as possible around their children if their goal is for them to be bilingual. Studies on young bilingual children have found that these children tend to better understand the “perspectives, thoughts, desires, and intentions” of others compared to monolingual children. “Part of this strength has to do with a more robust speech system that can Езикови курсове за деца София more easily recognize certain features of communication, such as prosody, speech rhythm, and tone of voice,” says Dr. Boxer. “It is believed that this developmental experience is different from monolingual children and allows for a stronger understanding of someone else’s perspective or the theory of the mind.” We live in a society that is becoming increasingly global and blurring the boundaries between languages and cultures.