Certainly Yes ! This little piece of my Heart , whom I call my niece inspired me to write my second blog on this subject.Born in U.S. and English being her native language. She started learning Spanish in her Day Care since she was One. She is Two right now and she sings songs in Spanish……isn’t that WAO !! I have been learning Japanese Language for 10 years and have been working as a Translator for 8 years now , Trust me …..I still cannot sing songs in Japanese the way she does 😕… !!
Until the 90’s, many parents came from a mindset where they believed that exposing your child at a young age to second language would only lead to confusion and mental development delays. Therefore, they refrained teaching their children a second language.
In 1999, there was a paper published with some research claiming that teaching your child a second language before they have mastered a first language could result in double “semi-lingual ism.” i.e. the child does not develop full proficiency in either of the two languages. To make it simple, your child ends up with speaking two languages equally badly. People who follow this school of thought believe that children should not be exposed to second language until the age of 11-13 years, because that is when their brain is fully developed. Why blame 90’s parents !!This fear is thought to be largely unfounded and, in fact the opposite has been revealed to be true.
The Difference Between Speaking Fluently and Being Bilingual
Until few years back I was with a mindset that anybody and everybody who speaks two languages is a Bilingual.Actually, far too many people claim to be bilingual.
But, being bilingual means that you speak both languages equally well and can flip between the two with ease.
You don’t make grammatical errors, your accent is undetectable and it comes naturally to you.That’s not the same as speaking a language fluently with a horrible twang and the occasional trip up with the tenses. Learning a second language as an adult often leads to such problems.
Even translators who speak two languages always prefer to translate in their native languages. It’s very rare to find a translator completely bilingual. Therefore, it’s a gift that we all can give to our children, without even making them realize that they are putting in the hard work .
“Being bilingual makes you smarter and can have a profound effect on your brain”.
Never Too Late 👀
Some studies suggest that the best age to start learning a second language is after six, but before puberty.Others say that bilingualism can still be achieved soon after the onset of adolescence. But they all agree that the window after puberty is narrow and as you get older, learning a second language gets comparatively harder.
Though there are many researches which say that it’s better to learn a second language as early as possible. Based on my personal experiences I would just say…….It’s Never Too Late !!
Though I agree to the fact that later you start harder it will be to get hold on the language. But, as it’s said ….Where There Is a Will..There is a Way !!I have seen people speaking language like a native even when they started learning in their teens.Totally depends on your passion for Languages, whether you want to make it your bread and butter or a travel hobby or just a way out to explore different cultures.
I would like to conclude it by just saying ……Bilingual People Have Greater Access to People and Resource .
All you people out there…do make your child learn a second language. (Try if you can learn with them too !) Bilingualism gives children stronger communication skills in a global economy that is constantly evolving.
My child will definitely learn Japanese right from the Start….and I will proudly call him/her BILINGUAL !!
↞ Ayushi Marwah↠