Debunking 4 Learning Myths About Bilingual Children
Does a bilingual program truly promote more learning benefits for your child? This is a matter of concern for parents, especially when their children’s future and well-being are at stake. You may have heard different kinds of opinions on how bilingualism affects your child. However, as a bilingual preschool in Virginia, we would like to address certain myths on bilingual education. We’ve gathered relevant information that supports the great advantages of bilingualism.
Consider the following myths on bilingualism and what studies say about them:
- MYTH: Babies exposed to a bilingual language will have speech delays
FACT: According to a University of Washington research, babies in their 10th to 12th month who were exposed to bilingual languages were able to discriminate the phonetic sounds of the two languages they have been hearing. This is in contrast to monolingual babies wherein the babies only detected the sound of the language they always hear. At this early, it has been noted that bilingual language does not cause speech delays but instead, enhances a child’s capacity to learn and communicate a language.
- MYTH: Bilingualism causes language confusion in children
FACT: According to another research, toddlers are able to separate one language from another showing lesser instances of confusion. The child exposed to a bilingual setting is able to converse with either of their parents who will speak to them in one of the languages they were exposed to. In particular, they have conversed fluently with their English-speaking parent in English while at the same time, responded to their French-speaking parent in French. This study shows that with bilingual exposure, there is no basis on language confusion to happen.
- MYTH: Children in bilingual setting will have delayed learning
FACT: On the contrary, this study presents that children exposed to bilingual setting gain cognitive advantages, especially as it promotes further opportunities to learn. Along with cognitive benefits, the same study says that the child’s social skills also improve as they are able to discern distinct differences of people speaking one language and adapt accordingly.
- MYTH: Bilingualism causes limited vocabulary due to code-mixing
FACT: In this study, it has been found that code-mixing is very common in parents and children who speak both languages and shift from one language to the other from time to time. The study shows that children are able to mix both languages proficiently, integrating additional vocabulary in their memory in the process.
These are just some of the important facts that can better guide us when we’re considering whether to enroll our children to a bilingual daycare in Washington, DC or not. What research and studies have shown us is that all those misconceptions about bilingualism can be definitely corrected with the right source of information.
At Early Steps Bilingual Preschool, we help you harness the overall learning potential of your child not only through bilingual programs but also through quality teachers and activities in our preschool in Virginia. If you have further inquiries, ask us.