Miscellany

bilingual babies learn more than language

Under 8 mo, they learn new rules faster, recognize language even on mute. http://ow.ly/47nDf

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4 thoughts on “bilingual babies learn more than language”

  1. Great article, thanks 🙂 If I ever have kids, I’d love them to grow up bilingual. Some friends of ours have a baby who’s going to be bilingual English/Indonesian so I’m looking forwards to watching as he learns to speak 🙂

  2. I’m monolingual myself, though I’ve got little bits of a bunch of languages, just enough to be tantalizing! I think it’s wonderful to really grasp another language, especially for reading.

  3. I remember all the concern with French immersion schools that children wouldn’t be comfortable in their own language (English, of course), or that they would be confused. I always thought that showed just how parochial the person concerned must be. I used to know, for example, a young girl of about 5 years old who spoke 4 languages fluently because of the mixed nature of her immediate family. She was fast on her way to becoming fluent in 5 (the last was English, since the family immigrated to Canada from Eastern Europe.) She was the must unconfused child I have ever known.

    And what’s real is that there are many, many, many children who are multilingual. All it takes is a place that fosters the mix of people it takes to make a multilingual society.

    1. French immersion schools are a different issue because it’s not true immersion. Only the teacher is fluent, the environment and family (if not bilingual) are in English. In fact about 1/2 of kids who start in French immersion don’t complete it but switch to English and when they do, they experience some transition challenges because of switching languages. The same is true with babies adopted internationally. There is a language delay while the brain adjusts to the change. Receptive language (understanding) is very quick to change but expressive language takes much longer. Most children catch up within 2 years, some by kindergarten, but there are a minority who need speech therapy.

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