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The study of bilingualism and of language development in bilingual children are linguistic subject matters that have drawn immense interest in the last two decades. A spurt has been witnessed as a number of scholars at the global level have presented new international journals, shared insights in a plethora of publications, new corpora, and deliberated at conferences.
Bilingual individuals have an edge in terms of improved linguistic skills, this is certainly not an overstatement. For example, to cite a few abilities, among others: – The ability to learn new words easily – Spotting rhymes and other associations between words – The ability to use possessed information in new ways – Word categorization – Coming up with solutions to complex problems – Feed listening skills and improved communication skills
Essentially, if parents communicate in their mother tongue, a child should be motivated to speak in that particular language. This would lead to the child relating to them in their language unconsciously. Develop a knack in a child to use both languages naturally. Storybooks are the best way to introduce children to a particular language. Another way could be making a child bond with friends who speak that particular language. Let the process towards bilingualism be as natural as possible.
There is a need for parents to read about how children learn a particular language faster. Find out more about bilingual language development. Another way could be that bilingual children should be allowed to attend a preschool that conducts its teachings in their native language as well as a second language. This way, they will have the opportunity to become deft in both languages through natural lingual acquisition over time. The younger they start, the better considering that it might not be possible to acquire another language so easily at a later stage in life.
Learning a language is a quite natural process. So, if the parents or immediate family members converse in the native language, the child then unconsciously starts picking up that particular native language.
Quite often, bilingual children start to combine words and build short sentences between the ages of 15 and 23 months. Most bilingual children studied so far were combining words by the age of two. It has been commonly observed that the early word combinations may consist of two words from the same language or one word from each language. It may be possible that a child may combine words in each of their two languages from the very beginning, or just in one language development of these children is different
In order to learn a second language, children must hear and practice it. In this regard, a school has a pivotal role to play and must provide opportunities for them to do so. These should not be formal teaching lessons. It has been observed that children from birth to 6, acquire skills in native and second languages most informally and spontaneously, by hearing it spoken around them, by trial and error they start speaking it naturally, and by subconsciously extracting the rules of the language and without any support from formal grammar teaching.
First and foremost, let the whole process be very natural. Allow a child to speak at their own pace. On a daily basis, develop speaking time for children. Another way could be to strike a conversation over a meal in the native language. It is essential to help them develop the confidence to speak freely and in a normal tone. If possible, avoid finding flaws in their speech at this stage, let the development process be subtle and organic. Lastly, teachers have a role to play in developing language skills in a child through positive reinforcement techniques. Teachers should serve as language role models for children.
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