Children who grow up with 2 or more languages spoken at home may tend to speak a little later than average, but there’s no evidence that being raised in a bilingual home can cause a true delay or language disorder.
You also need not worry about language confusion; switching back and forth between the 2 languages is a sign your child is mastering both.
With each parent using a different language, however, your child may be more likely to speak the language he hears most often but understand both.
- To help your child become truly bilingual, try to provide more exposure to the language she hears less often.
- TV programs, CDs and DVDs are not as effective as human interaction (such as being read aloud to) for this purpose.
Of course, bilingual kids, just like children learning only one language, can have language or more global developmental delays that aren’t caused by the number of languages they’re exposed to. If you’re concerned about your child’s language development, ask your pediatrician for guidance.
See also ...
- Should children learn English before starting school?
- Advice on language development in bilingual children
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