It is a common myth that teaching a child two languages simultaneously might cause language delay in him or her. We understand that you as the parent of a child who is at a stage of learning some language/s, is worried whether bilingualism is a benefit or a detriment. However, according to Colin Baker, a researcher in childhood bilingualism, is of the opinion that –
“Raising children bilingually is sometimes believed to cause language delay, though evidence does not support this position. Raising children bilingually neither increases nor reduces the chance of language disorder or delay.”
There are quite a lot of cases reported by Speech Language Pathologists at well-known clinics dealing with delayed speech treatment in Kolkata, where children raised up bilingually did not show any language delay, and above all, have learnt both the languages quite well. Delayed language is seen in children for many other complications, and not because he or she is influenced by bilingualism. Rather, bilingualism has more benefits than hindrances in the child’s developmental skills.
Fun Facts About Bilingualism
- At least half of the world’s population is bilingual or plurilingual.
- A study showed that even while in the womb of a bilingual mother, the child not only prefers both the languages over others, but they also develop the ability to recognise and tell the difference between the two.
- Bilingualism actually develops the grey matter in the language processing centre of the brain, especially when the child have learnt two languages before five years of age.
- Bilingualism keeps mental ageing at bay.
- Bilingual children do not often struggle with ‘language confusion’, as seen in monolingual children.
- Bilingualism makes the child a better listener, as he or she is used to differentiating between two or more languages.
- There are more second language speakers of the English language than native speakers.
- Learning two languages at childhood reduces the risks of diminishing mental health and mental diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, and Dementia in an older age.
Benefits of Bilingualism
- Bilingual children do well academically, and also shine in other fields.
- Speech Language Pathologists at good centres for delayed speech treatment in Kolkata strongly supports bilingualism as it helps a child to concentrate and pay more attention about 20% more than his or her monolingual peers.
- Learning two languages at an early ages enhances the reading abilities of the child.
- Being bilingual opens up many opportunities for the child as he/she knows two or more languages.
- Although bilingual kids take a little longer time to distinguish between the two languages, yet bilingualism improves the child’s ability to learn many more additional languages faster, as it enhances the cognitive processes and also maintaining and fostering relationships with people.
- Speech Therapists at centres dealing with delayed speech treatment in Kolkata are of the opinion that bilingualism helps children to access more people and resources.
- Hence, bilingual children have a greater neural activity and a denser tissue in the areas of the brain that is responsible for memory.
- Children who learn a foreign language outshine his/her non-foreign language learning peers, especially in the areas of problem solving, such as in maths and logic.
- Bilingual children do better in other cognitive functioning as they have stronger and more flexible cognitive abilities.
- According to professional Speech Pathologists at renowned clinics for delayed speech treatment in Kolkata bilingualism enhances a child’s ability to do multi-tasking.
- Bilingualism enables and encourages, or at least develops in the child the ability to think globally. It is because being acquainted with two or more languages imparts in the child the feeling that the world is a vast and diverse place with so many different languages and cultures to explore. As a result, it opens up the mind of the child, and does not make his thoughts limited to a small region.
To conclude, you should never be worried about language delay while raising up your child bilingually as advised by experienced Speech Pathologists at centres that deal with delayed speech treatment in Kolkata. Instead, bilingualism has a lot of advantages and benefits for your child. So it is upto you whether you will give yourself in to the myths about bilingualism, or focus on your child’s developing skills and promise a better future for him or her.