Is your child exposed to multiple languages? If you are worried that your child’s speaking skills or language abilities will be hindered you are not alone. According to popular belief, children who are being raised in a multilingual environment face a delay in developing speaking skills.
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In most families globally, speaking more than one language is actually normal. It is neither confusing nor harder for children when they grow up in such an environment. For them, it is normal and a way of life. It does not make life harder for them.
A baby starts to hear even before birth. The ability to hear inside the womb is one of the miracles of pregnancy. When the parents converse, the baby in the womb can hear and recognize his/her parents’ voices. So when a baby is born and the parents speak to them, the baby will recognize the voice, the pattern and even the language.
When babies are born, they can actually produce all the sounds from the world in all the world’s languages. As they grow up, they adopt the sounds and words from their immediate environment and develop their speaking skills accordingly forgetting the rest. This is one of the reasons why for adults, learning a new language takes time and effort.
Parents should not worry about the timeline of their child’s speaking skills. Some children speak their first words at a younger age while others take a lot of time to start speaking. The only thing that parents should focus on is the progress. Keep a lookout for new words which can be in any language and encourage your child’s speaking skills by reading out to them.
Reading, singing, and engaging with your child in everyday conversations can lead to an earlier and faster development. An environment where children are exposed to different languages tends to have a richer vocabulary with a stronger analytical skill.