Myths About Multilingual Language Exposure

Myths About Multilingual Language Exposure

Myths About Multilingual Language Exposure

Do you think exposing your child to many languages is wrong? Is it the cause of a speech delay? Lets’ find out! Today we talk about myths about multilingual language exposure. Since India is a diverse country, we are all exposed to multiple languages. Further, in 90% of the households, people speak at least two or more languages. Owing to this, you may wonder if it can affect your child’s speech skills. Let’s read more!

Myth: Exposing children to many languages causes speech and learning delays

Developmental milestones are the same across languages. Further, kids who are exposed to one language or more languages say their first words by 1 year of age. Additionally, kids learn to combine words and talk in 2 words by 2 years of age. A multilingual child can frame two-word combinations using two or more languages that he/she knows. For example, he/she may say “car आओ” (English + Hindi). So, this is normal and not deviant speech. Furthermore, a child’s brain plasticity is very high and it enables them to learn many languages. Unlike an adult’s brain. So, don’t worry! Overall, exposing your child to many languages can never cause a speech delay.

Myth: Learning many languages confuses a child

Of course not! When a child is below 4 years of age and is learning multiple languages, he/she can mix the grammar rules of languages. However, by 4 years your child will learn to separate the grammar rules of individual languages. So, initially, you may think your child is confused but it is not so. So, it is normal for toddlers to mix grammar rules if exposed to many languages.

Myth: Multilingual children will always mix languages while speaking

No! When a toddler is learning languages, it is normal for them to mix codes and talk. However, as the child grows, they become fluent and do not always mix languages while speaking. Further, when they become adults, depending on the situation they may mix or talk in a single language.

Myth: Being Multilingual slows academic performance.

This is a myth! Several studies have shown that learning two or more languages can boost your brain’s performance. Further, critical brain differences are noted in multilingual. Hence, exposing your child to multiple languages is beneficial.

Myth: A child can never be fluent in multiple languages.

Wrong! This depends on the child. Multilingual can be fluent across languages. Further, sometimes one language may dominate the other. But this does not mean that one cannot be fluent in two or more languages.

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Ayesha Anjum
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