Many parents ask the following questions?
- Is it too confusing to learn two languages simultaneously?
- Will learning two languages cause our child’s speech or language skills to be delayed?
- How should we teach our child two languages?
These questions are typical concerns of parents considering using more than one language at home. Many parents in Canada want their children to learn English if that is the language used at the school. Does that mean that you should be speaking English?
The first and most important suggestion for parents is to ensure they are speaking a language that you are comfortable and proficient in when communicating with their child. In addition, when grandparents visit either from their home country or in Canada enjoying the beauty of their culture including the language is part of connecting and communicating with the child.
For example, if you are fluent in Spanish, you may enjoy speaking Spanish to your child. Enjoying communication with your child and the natural feel and flow of the communication is an essential part of promoting communication. There is no evidence or research to suggest that learning two languages causes language delays. Typically, if your child has difficulty in their first language, they will likely have difficulty in the second language as well. In the case of the latter, an assessment with a speech pathologist is recommended and the SLP will provide general strategies to promote language, social, and overall communication development in your child.
It is interesting to note that, many children who are exposed to more than one language outperform their monolingual peers on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence.
This list does not include every website on this topic. STCC does not endorse the information on these sites.
Other information can be obtained from the American Speech and Hearing Association( ASHA)
ASHA( asha.org/public/speech/development/learning -two-languages
- Bilingual Language development(YouTube)
- Can special needs kids be Bilingual (YouTube)
- Myths about Bilingual Children (YouTube)
- National Association for Bilingual Education
- Quick Tips – Talk to your baby in your own Language
The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada is a team of dedicated speech-language pathologists (commonly known as S-LPs or speech therapists) and speech-language pathology assistants (S-LPAs) who provide assessment and therapy services to children and adults with communication disorders. Our S-LPS, S-LPAs and support staff are truly committed to providing the highest quality of service to our clients and their families. We understand that navigating the world of speech therapy may be daunting so our client services team is prepared to help you every step of the way.