Knowing few languages can be beneficial not only for a person but also for a community. Bilingualism has many positive aspects that the families with two or more languages can’t imagine their life without it. Kindergarten, schools and community’s support contributes to the development of multilingualism in children.
Multilingual families are not all the same
The families can be bilingual or multilingual in different ways.
– one or both parents’ native language is different from the language of the country they live in,
– parents have different native languages and kids hear two or more languages from the beginning,
– one or both parents were brought up in a country where different languages were used at school and at home.
Some families include also other members of the family beside parents and those family members play active role in kids’ everyday life and use other languages.
Is it possible for the kids to learn few languages at the same time?
Children can learn few languages at the same time. In most countries kids usually learn few languages from early ages. For the child to have decent knowledge of few languages he has to have help and support at home, in the kindergarten, at school. It’s important to praise the child for his achievements.
When the children of ethnical minorities know the language of their parents they have more possibilities to learn about the cultural heritage.
Will the children learn the language of the country if their parents use their native language at home?
When the child’s native language is well developed it helps to learn the second one. Native language and second language can support each other. It would be easier to learn new words and
expressions when the child knows them on his native language.
All the parents want their children to do well at school. This is why many of them want their kids to learn the language of the country they live in very early. But this doesn’t mean that they should stop talking to their kids in their native language. By sending the children to the kindergarten, engaging in different activities with friends can help the kids to get to know new words and expressions.
Parents’ native languages are different – what language to use in this case?
It is recommended that parents communicate in their native languages. When the family gets together they can choose one common language: it can be one of the languages of the parents, the language of the country or any other language. It’s important that the parents use the language they know the best.
There can be many ways to help kids with their learning but the most important the parents should be persistent in what they do to achieve good results.