Being bilingual isn't something most adults think about. In fact, once most people are done with their formal education they’re pretty much done learning any sort of language at all – other than what they might pick up in daily life.
However, for children, the idea of learning a new language is somewhat easy and teaching a child two languages at the same time isn't a particularly strange or difficult concept. Some parents and linguists have been doing it for many years, helping children learn two languages that can make their job opportunities and social life better.
While it might seem difficult, children do learn more easily than adults. Use this primer to help you understand how children process language and why growing up bilingual can be such an asset for kids in this day and age.
One of the most interesting things about how children learn a language comes from the fact that when children are born, they don’t have any understanding of how spoken and written language works. As adults, it’s almost a little hard to remember that children don’t have formed language pathways since we take it for granted by the time we’re teens.
The great benefit of children not having any developed language resources when they’re born is that they are easily able to process multiple languages and their rules since they don’t have a defined definition of what language really is yet. When you learn one language first, then try to learn another, you’re always comparing to and contrasting against your dominant language. Children that grow up bilingual don’t have to do that.
The biggest benefit for bilingual children in most cases is that they can gather information from many different sources and communicate in a more global manner. Children who can speak two languages, and especially children who don’t have a dominant language, will also find it easier to communicate with other ethnic groups.having
Children who are bilingual also earn more money on average than people who speak one language when they grow up.