Should my child learn a new language before becoming fluent in his mother tongue?
You want your child to start learning a new language, but one fear is holding you back: He’s not yet fluent in his mother tongue. If that’s the case, don’t worry! It’s absolutely OK for your child to start learning a new language before becoming fluent in his native one. Why? Simply because kids’ brains are amazingly well-adapted for learning multiple languages, especially when they’re young and still developing their language skills. Just consider these 4 awesome facts!
Two languages together make me speak better! Learning two languages at the same time actually helps your child build native skills in both: Bilingual kids’ brains separate languages starting at age 2! As your child absorbs sounds, vocabulary, and grammar rules in the two languages, the brain separates them, compares them, and stores all this rich information for future use. It’s like a treasure chest your child unlocks whenever he wants! The result? Your child will have an amazing memory for language rules, can easily switch between them, and speak like a native in both!
Language 1 or language 2? I like them both…how about you? Another great benefit of learning two languages together? Your child will appreciate the second language as much as the first! Sometimes, when kids learn a second language long after learning the mother tongue, the new language is treated as less important. This can hurt bilingualism since the new language isn’t taken as seriously as the first. Learning two languages together solves this problem: Both languages will matter to your child!
Working harder makes me smarter! Learning a second language may be a little extra work for your child…but it pays off! Bilingualism offers great benefits for your child such as better problem solving, test-taking skills, and task-switching. Learning a second language early helps your child sharpen those skills even faster! You’ll have your very own Superman or Wonder Woman!
Yes, yes, it’s true! I can speak as fast as you! If you’re worried about how fast your kid will learn, and how fluently he will speak, have no fear! Bilingual kids learn to speak fluently just as quickly as monolingual kids, and learning the two languages together can help make your child more fluent in both faster! There are no serious language delays, so your kid won’t fall behind. But you may struggle to keep up with him!
Language learning is a natural process that works best with regular exposure. Don’t stress about teaching either language: Just integrate them into your daily lives! As your child continues on his language journey, support him in both languages: Fun resources, a positive attitude, and lots of “Bravos!” are all he needs along the way!