Alot of people ask me as a parent, aren't you concerned that Ari will get confused learning more than one language at a time? or think 'I just want my child to get one language right before learning another', or 'My child won't be able to differentiate between the two/three or more'.
This is a common concern, especially if you or your partner speak a language other than the dominant language of the country you live in. However, research has shown that children who learn two languages simultaneously have cognitive and linguistic advantages over monolingual children. We want to dispel some of your concerns about language confusion and talk about the benefits it brings!
There are numerous benefits to being bilingual. For one, bilingual children have been found to have better executive function skills, such as working memory, cognitive flexibility, and problem-solving. They may also have an easier time learning additional languages later in life. Bilingualism has also been associated with higher academic achievement, improved social skills, and a more global perspective.
Many parents worry that their child will become confused and mix up the two languages they are learning. However, there is no proof that young children that learn two lanagues at the same time would get the two mixed up. Yes. Multilingual or bilingual children sometimes start a sentence with one language and finish with another language. This is natural part of bilingual development (due to context, vocabulary or association). Once language has been developed they can treate the languages separately. Bilingual children are able to differentiate between the two languages and use them appropriately in different contexts.
It’s important to note that bilingual language acquisition is not always equal. Some children may show a preference for one language over the other or may become more proficient in one language before the other. This is normal and does not necessarily indicate confusion. It’s also important to note that the amount of exposure to each language can impact language acquisition. If one language is spoken more frequently than the other, the child may become more proficient in that language.
In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to raising a bilingual child, and language confusion is not a significant concern. With consistent exposure to both languages and a supportive environment, your child can become fluent in two languages and reap the cognitive and linguistic benefits that come with bilingualism.