I am often asked about the implications or effects of learning a second language on typical language development. I want to share this information published by the American Speech Language Hearing Association on the advantages, process and realities of learning more than one language simultaneously. The great news as you suspected is that our brains are wired for language acquisition. We have an innate ability to learn the rules and sounds by exposure, modeling and matching. The skills to acquire a single language are easily transferable to a second language, and if the sound system is similar the process is made easier. The caveat, however, is that if there is a delay or disorder in acquiring the first language, those same issues will be present for the second language. Should you limit your child’s exposure to the second language? Absolutely not, the benefits are just too valuable.
Every individual is unique. Development of more than one language depends on the type and amount of input you receive in all languages. It is important to understand that the process of learning a second language is NOT a language disorder.
The Advantages of Being Bilingual
Most children have the capacity and facility to learn more than one language.
Learning Two Languages
Find out more about when a child learns more than one language.
Second Language Acquisition
Learn more about the process of learning a language after already speaking another language.
See information about services that a client may seek to improve difficulty communicating because of his or her accent.