Education and Learning

Is it good to speak multiple languages with a toddler?

Mansi Dubey
1 to 3 years

Created by Mansi Dubey
Updated on Jun 28, 2018

Is it good to speak multiple languages with a toddler

Children start to learn and recognise sounds before they are even born. By the time they are born, babies can tell the difference between their mother’s languages to any other language. At birth, baby’s brain is gifted with an ability to differentiate between more than 800 sounds. This means that at this initial stage they can learn any language that they are exposed to.

Some myths about raising a bilingual or multilingual child

  • Multiple languages confuse children.
  • It leads to speech delays
  • You can’t teach your child multiple languages after certain age
  • Your will learn the language just by grasping what you and your families speak
  • Your child will mix the languages

Benefits of speaking multiple languages

  • Your child will easily communicate with their extended family
  • Your child will develop open-mindedness and would easily accept people who speak different languages.
  • Future education and job opportunities.
  • Diverse cultural upbringing with music, films, literature, art etc.
  • Ability to learn different languages

Also Read: Teach Your Child The Importance Of Language

How to teach your child different languages

  • Agree on multilingual – First you and your partner need to decide if you want your kid to be bilingual or multilingual.
  • Don’t push your child- know that learning takes time. Don’t expect your child to understand and to speak as soon as possible. Children tend to understand the language but wouldn’t be able to speak frequently. Have patience.
  • Decide the number of languages- remember your child is not a machine but a human being. Two to three languages are enough for your child to learn. You and your partner should decide which languages you would want your child to learn.
  • Don’t wait for the perfect time – your baby can understand sound and language even before he/ she is born. Listen to music from a different language or reading a book of any different language can help build an understanding of that particular language in your child.
  • Get relevant material for your baby if you want him/her to learn a different language. Help your kid read books in different language, watch movies with him/her, help them like a friend.
  • Have patience!

Methods to use to teach your child more than one language

  • One person one language – In this method each parent use a different language to talk to the child. If you speak any minority language then your husband/wife can use some different language to communicate with the child.
  • Minority language at home – minority language needs more attention and support. You and the entire family should only communicate in minority language at home. This would help your child get familiar with the same.

 

Here are our tips and tricks on how to teach your child multiple languages. Do let us know how many languages do your child speaks? And how do you teach your children the same? We would love to read your comments.

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| Aug 09, 2018

my girl is 2. 4 years old, she knows color, animal, fruits, alphabets, sings rhymes too, but can not speak language fluently, I mean though she speaks all through the day and night but it is not clear, mostly not understandable. we speak oriya in our home. how to make her speak fluently and properly.

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| Jun 29, 2018

I speak in Hindi with my daughter while my husband and in laws speak in Bengali with her. I show her videos of rhymes in Hindi as well as in English... She is 21 months old and has started communicating in mixed languages and sing all rhymes. It's like having different fruits in same tree.. Don't really know whether it will benefit her or put her language learning in a problem... Please do suggest more things that I can do to help her ..

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| Jun 28, 2018

Should I make it a priority to teach English first? Because that's the language kids would be speaking in his school. Please advise.

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| Jun 28, 2018

very useful article

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| Jun 28, 2018

Very Nice article.. Me and my husband speak our respective mother tongue with our daughter.. She understands all the languages and responds very well.. But she has started speaking in her very own language.. She knows words.. Animals.. Colors.. And is very active kid.. Just her language is confusing.. Pls advise.

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