Did you know that many of the world’s English language users are not native speakers of English? For so many years language learners have strived to become “like a native speaker”, with flawless grammar and pronunciation.
Children who develop two languages normally follow patterns of development similar to children who develop one single language. They coo, babble and form early sounds and simple words at first.
For many parents the first stumbling block is at the very start… is bilingualism a good idea? Is it common? Will my child grow up to feel different from everyone else?
With an ever-growing bilingual population, it is important to be aware of the benefits that bilingualism can bring. This can be helpful for parents, teachers and anyone responsible for advising and supporting those who raise and educate children who speak more than one language.
Think about the main carers in your child’s life. What language does each one speak? How often? For what purpose? Is each carer going to address the child in one language, or in more than one? Which language(s) will be used when the main carers are together?
Many articles you find around the internet will tell you that there are two or three successful techniques for achieving success when raising children through multiple languages or trying to keep up skills in a minority language.
Bilingual children can become biliterate if they have access to literacy instruction in both languages. Biliteracy or dual literacy refers to the ability to read and write in two languages.
Every family’s multilingual journey is unique, and there is no secret formula for success. However, there are some key conditions that can impact children’s linguistic development.
Taking roles is a fun activity that uses children’s incredible imagination and creativity, while supporting their development of language and communication as well as problem-solving skills.
The One Person One Language (OPOL) strategy is used in families where parents want to speak different languages with their child.