Children Learn More Than One Language

Should children learn more than one language in their young age? Can they cope with more than one language? If so, when is the good time to teach them the second language? What are the advantages or disadvantages to raise bilingual children?

I have all these questions in my mind early when I was expecting my Baby Moon. I was thinking what language I should focus on her and talk to her since young. I have seen many young parents from Chinese educated talk with their children in English and I was wondering this is a correct method of raising the kids especially we are Chinese.

I always understand English is an important language and it becomes more important when kids grow up and enter into corporate world. Like many other parents, I also hope my children good in English, not only good but excellent. However, I have decided to speak Mandarin with my girl instead of English. These are some of the reasons of mine:

I’m from Chinese educated and not really good in English conversation especially come to casual talk at home. I don’t want to “input” her with improper English (in Singapore, called Singlish) and affect her later study of proper and formal English. Besides, our friends in different nation are so keen in learning Mandarin, I should not have reason not to let my girl master our own language.

When the first day Baby Moon went to nursery, I had a bit worry she couldn’t understand what her teachers were speaking to her. All the while, she only chance to “get in touch” with English when watching her favourite “Barney” and “Hi 5”. After seen her well behave and likes to attend school, I believe she copes well and just need more time for her second language.

Of course I also hope that she can do better with English, but recently she is picking up more words and sentences in Mandarin. I don’t want to confuse her, so I insist to teach her words in Mandarin and speak proper Mandarin.

I’ve done some searches in Google and found a very good site about Multilingual Children. It gives me lots of information about raising children in multi languages, you should also read their articles at Multilingual Children Association:

  • The Pros and Cons of Raising a Multilingual Child
  • 10 Myths You Will Be Told About Multilingual Children
  • Language Systems and Why Your Family Needs It?
  • 10 Steps to Raising a Multilingual Child
  • When is The Best Time to Start?
  • How to Start Older Kids on a Foreign Language

2 Responses to “Children Learn More Than One Language”

  1. Payel says:

    I would like to say Thank you to whom ever has written this article and also given the Website address. It was really helpfull for me as me and my husband got 2 different language as our native language. We did not know which language to follow for our baby. This website cleared all my doubts.

  2. babymoon says:

    Hi Payel,

    I’m happy you find the website useful. The site cleared my doubts too! :)

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