Raising Bilingual Children

The advantages of raising bilingual children far outweigh those of limiting children with the possibility of a bilingual social education. Bilingual children, for example, often exhibit a greater capacity for flexible thinking. Since even the most distinct languages are related in some way, learning two languages simultaneously adds, rather than subtracts, and focuses, rather than distracts, one’s understanding of one language. Grammatical competency often takes longer for bilingual children, but that doesn’t mean they are confused or aren’t learning as well as their monolingual peers. Bilingual children are simply learning more information, necessitating a slower pace. Because a felt need for the use of language is so crucial to learning languages, this slower pace is not a social inhibitor for bilingual children. No, the difficulty arises in creating and sustaining learning environments (namely non-forced social situations) in which the child is amply exposed to both languages and exhibits a relatively equal level of felt need for both languages.

For more on this, check out my source, Raising Bilingual Children by Antonella Sorace and Bob Ladd.

What are your thoughts?

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4 Responses to Raising Bilingual Children

  1. Brian says:

    Basically, I totally agree. The studies are endless: learning multiple languages, especially from a young age, expands the mind’s ability in exponential ways. Our son is starting a dual-language kindergarten program next year (50/50 English/Spanish), and we’re really excited about it.

    • reneamac says:

      That’s really cool, Brian. Will you and/or your wife be speaking Spanish with him in your home? That’s always particularly helpful it seems.

  2. Hi Renea,
    Though I don´t have children (yet), I agree that raising bilingual children has incredible benefits to both the children and the family union. With that being said, I write a blog called “Bilingual Stories” for people looking to read in Spanish and English. I don´t have many visitors to my blog, but I believe it is because I have not become emerged in the online bilingual community. I will continue to read your blog and look for others that share in our belief about bilingual children. I hope you are able to use my blog and share it with those who enjoy reading in two languages.

  3. DinoLingo says:

    Thanks for this insightful post. Actually the benefits of being bilingual might be more than you can imagine: http://blog.dinolingo.com/2011/05/22/30-reasons-why-learning-a-second-language-is-good-for-children/

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