The issue of raising a bilingual child revolves around numerous myths that often discourage parents from exposing their children to multiple languages. The most common myth is that exposing babies to two languages will lead to confusion, and cause subsequent speech delays. Instead of listening to tall stories, give your child the best head start in the global world.
Proponents often strive to dispel certain misconceptions about language acquisition. It’s a fallacy that a child will not be able to differentiate between two languages. Comprehensive studies indicate that the issue of confusion and speech delays is just a myth, as bilingual children reach their milestones within the same timeline, like their counterpart monolingual children. In fact, this has come under intense scrutiny of psychologists to validate a theory that the bilingual children have a higher cognitive advantage above monolingual children.
Moreover, some parents don’t hide their dismay at the fact that exposing a child to multiple languages might lead to speech delays. This myth is unfounded because the delay, if any, is only temporary and cannot be justified in language acquisition theories. As stated by a number of advocates of bilingualism, it does not hinder the language acquisition process at all.
Although bilingual children have a tendency to mix languages, the habit is only short-lived and harmless, and it should not be interpreted as a scarcity of competency in input languages. Experts agree that mixing languages is inevitable, but the habit fades away as the child gains vast vocabulary in both languages. Occasionally, the code switching aspect could be intentional, particularly, when parents also have a tendency to use different languages.
The decision about the appropriate time to introduce a child to a second language solely depends on the parent. You may decide to begin talking to your children in two languages right from birth. However, experts estimate the optimal time to be three years, as it is the peak time for learning a first language.
Ultimately, if a parent intends to raise a bilingual child, they should disregard the myths as it is never too late, especially, if the child is under ten years. Important to note is that, a child’s brain is like a sponge ready to absorb a new lingo by leaps and bounds with little effort and time.
discourage – zrażać
tall story – niewiarygodna historia
head start – ułatwienie, przewaga na starcie
proponent – zwolennik
acquisition – nabywanie
fallacy – błędne przekonanie
comprehensive – wyczerpujący, obszerny
counterpart – odpowiednik
scrutiny – szczegółowe badanie
validate – potwierdzać
dismay – niepokój, konsternacja
unfounded – nieuzasadniony
advocate – orędownik, zwolennik
short-lived – krótkotrwały, przelotny
scarcity – brak
inevitable – nieunikniony
solely – wyłącznie, jedynie
peak time – okres największej produktywności
by leaps and bounds – w szybki sposób, milowymi krokami