Our early years team share the seven learning stages of growing up multi-lingual.
There have been several pieces of research over the years which suggest that bilingualism has a positive impact on children. It seems that children who are bilingual may find it easier to switch between tasks and have greater mental flexibility because they learn from an early age there is more than one way of doing things.
The Importance Home Languages
Language is a social code that enables us to connect with others and build relationships with our immediate family, extended families, community and culture. It is important that, as adults, we help children to use their home language or they may lose the ability to speak it and become ‘receiving bilinguals’ where they are only able to understand but not speak in their home language. When this happens, it can also result in values and cultural traditions, beliefs and family wisdom being lost.
Seven Stages of Learning a Second Language
It’s important to understand the stages of acquiring or learning, another language do not always follow a set pattern. Below are broad areas that you may see as your child acquires an additional language.
Extended phrases – the basics will be followed by children able to use verbs, adjectives and nouns. This will lead eventually to longer sentences and oral competence, although often, some minor ‘irregularities’ may still occur.
WorldStories is a growing collection of stories from around the world. The collection includes retold traditional tales and new short stories in the languages most spoken by UK children.
Songs and rhymes from around the world can be found here.
Tips for parents to help children learn their home language and English.
What about bilingualism? Frequently asked questions on bilingualism for parents
The advantages of bilingualism.