Language Development In Bilingual Children

Written by Manjiri Kochrekar
Last Updated on

If you are planning to get your kids to learn a new language, teach them about a new culture, and make them true global citizens, then look no further. Here, we look at some important bilingual children language development tips for kids.

What Is Bilingualism?

Bilingualism is the proficiency in communicating in two or more languages. Language development in bilingual children helps your kid focus on relevant information and ignore unimportant stuff or distractions. Bilingual children exhibit better creativity and plan and solve complex problems better than monolingual children. Bilingualism helps your kids achieve language milestones, at the same age when usually kids learn just one language, and boosts their vocabulary appreciably. So, you should work on language development to inculcate bilingualism in your kids (1).

[ Read: Communication Development In Children ]

Tips For Language Development In Bilingual Children:

Language development in bilingual children is something that can be challenging. Of course, many factors come into play, but you need to learn some basic things to ensure a smooth journey. And, here we list some simple and effective tips that can help you raise bilingual kids.

1. Speak Basic Sentences In The Language:

Speak to your child using simple basic phrases, clauses, and sentences of the specific language that you want to inculcate in your kids so that your child can easily understand them and learn to talk using them. Provide your child a proficient language model so that she listens and learns the correct language structures, words, and vocabulary (2).

2. Continue Talking In The Mother Tongue:

Even if you child starts learning a new language or second language at school, and you are proud of it, do not stop conversing with your child in your mother tongue at home. You need to foster her language development skills. The stronger your kid’s first language, the simpler, easier, and stronger it will be for your child to learn and develop the second language (3).

[ Read: Language Development In Children ]

3. Be Patient And Supportive:

In the initial stage of learning the second language, your child may go through a ‘silent period’ that can last for some weeks to some months. During the phase, be patient and support your child to learn and adapt to the second language. Even if you turn anxious wondering if your child will ever speak in the second language, don’t share your worry with your kid. Simply be supportive for her new learning. Offer your child adequate exposure to the new language. Be patient, even if your child refrains from speaking the native language for some days and prefer hearing you talk using the same (4).

4. Let Your Child Have Fun Using The Language:

Organize playtime of your child with other kids who speak in the second language. You can also plan your kid’s visits to neighbors and other friends who talk in the desired language (5).

5. Plan Trips To Countries Where Desired Language Is The First Language:

If possible, you can plan a trip to countries where people speak the desired language proficiently. Doing so, helps boost your kid’s interest in the culture and learning the language with a great interest (6).

[ Read: Language Activities For Kids ]

6. Make Learning Fun For Kids:

You can make learning the desired language fun for your kids. Gift your kids fascinating short storybooks, picture books, children’s magazines, and other literature work having narration in the language. Read out and explain your kids the stories in the desired language. Encourage your kids to join story reading. You can also dress-up your child in the traditional dress of the culture that uses the desired language. Sing songs play music, and dance in the traditional way that boosts your kid’s interest in learning the desired language. Play games using the language, for instance, play bingo or memory game (7).

Now that you know how to inculcate bilingualism in your child, you can use any of the above tips and help your child learn and gain expertise in the language.

Did you use any techniques to further language development in bilingual children? How did they help? Share your experience and knowledge with other moms. Leave a comment below.

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