It is often said that children are like sponges and that the younger they are, the more facilities they have to learn new things. This is true, but with nuances, and is that for a child to acquire new habits or knowledge he needs to be exposed to appropriate contexts for this to develop.
Today one of the biggest concerns of parents is that their children learn the more languages the better , but this task over the years becomes increasingly difficult for children, that is why if you really want them to A child learns a language easily, it must be exposed constantly and continuously over time.
From PregDream we are going to give you the best tips and tricks with which this may be possible and that will make your children learn a language more easily, so if this is what you are interested in, do not hesitate to continue reading.
INITIAL DOUBTS AND FEARS
It is normal for some parents to think that the fact that a child at an early age is learning two or more languages at the same time can cause a problem in the child’s communication . However, this is not true since recent studies have been able to show that learning two or more languages at the same time does not cause any type of impairment or difficulty in children’s language .
A child who is exposed to two languages from birth often says his first words around the first year and begins to combine the languages from 18 months to two years. These data are totally normal and frequent in children who only speak one language and parents should not be alarmed. Likewise, if around 5 years of age the child is able to speak two languages fluently, but mixes the languages in some words or expressions , this should not scare their parents since even in bilingual adults these kinds of situations are totally normal.
It is also possible that around that age the child begins to develop more strength or more vocabulary with one of the two languages, this is due to the fact that one of the languages is the one that that child has to use the most in his day to day, however, this will not mean that the other language is forgotten , the child will simply need to see himself in the context in which he needs to use it.
BENEFITS OF LEARNING MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
- Greater communicative and linguistic capacity.
- Easier to learn other languages.
- Future job opportunities above average.
- More diverse cultural education.
- Greater ability to concentrate.
- Increased neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to adapt and change as a result of behavior and experience, this ability can only be developed during childhood).
METHODS FOR TEACHING A CHILD MULTIPLE LANGUAGES
Don’t miss the following methods:
- One Person One Language (OPOL) : This is the most widespread and efficient method for a child to learn a language. The OPOL is based on the fact that a person with whom the child has continuous contact speaks a different language to the rest with which other people speak. For example, if the parents speak English to their child at home from the time they are born and this child later goes to the school where they speak Spanish, the child in question will learn to speak two languages by being in continuous contact with both. This method does not need to be applied only with two languages, one of the parents could speak to him in English, the other in French and when the child goes to school in Spanish, this will make the child able to learn three languages at the same time. Same time.
- Minority Language at Home ( ML @ H ) : This method will need a reinforcement from a teacher who masters the language that the parents want the child to learn. The ML @ H is based on speaking to the child with a language that, although the parents do not master it perfectly, they have basic knowledge that can make the children learn the language, for example, if the parents know English, even if it is not natively, they can speak this language to their children while they speak Spanish at school . However, the child will need reinforcement with a native speaker or someone who is fluent in the language to fully learn it well.
- Time and place (T&P) : This method is frequently used in bilingual schools and is based on using two languages alternating the days, for example, in the mornings speaking only in English and in the afternoons in Spanish , or dividing it into the days of the week, for example, Monday and Tuesday speak in Spanish and the rest of the week in English. This can be reinforced if parents know the language and adapt to the language of the school by speaking to their child one language or another as appropriate during the week.
- Mixed Language Policy (MLP) : This method is often used by bilingual parents and is very efficient especially for teaching vocabulary to children. The MLP consists in that depending on what subjects parents speak to children in one language or another , for example, if they are talking about animals, English is used, if they talk about feelings in Spanish, if they talk about politics in French and so on depending on what topic.
Finally, it must be remembered that the fact that a child learns a language or not depends on many factors and one of the most important is the constancy of the parents in following the methods. On the other hand, each child is a world and as they grow up they may decide to communicate only in one language or another according to their personal needs and preferences, but that does not mean that they forget that other language or not. All these methods can be used in any child, it will simply be necessary to evaluate which one is believed to be more effective and that best adapts to the limitations of the parents, but without a doubt that your child knows more than two languages or more will give advantages few others can count on.