Language Development in Bilingual Children
Raising bilingual children has become increasingly popular as parents recognize the cognitive, social, and cultural benefits of exposing their children to multiple languages early. Children have an amazing ability to learn different languages at a young age.
There are multiple stages a bilingual child goes through, and any daycare in New York explains them clearly, which can generally be categorized into the following:
- Pre-verbal Stage (0-12 months)
In this stage, bilingual infants are exposed to sounds, rhythms, and intonations of two languages. They begin to recognize and differentiate between the two languages, laying the foundation for future language development.
- First Words (12-24 months)
Bilingual toddlers start to produce single words in both languages. They could combine languages in a single statement, which is common in developing bilingualism. That is apparent in any bilingual daycare, whether a Spanish or Japanese daycare.
- Two-Word Combinations (24-36 months)
As bilingual children’s vocabulary grows, they form two-word phrases in both languages. They continue to mix languages but gradually use each language more consistently in specific contexts.
- Complex Sentences (3-5 years)
Bilingual preschoolers who receive quality children care develop the ability to form complex sentences in both languages. They become more proficient in using each language separately and may prefer one language.
- Language Stabilization (5-7 years)
By this stage, bilingual children have developed a strong foundation in both languages. Their vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation improve, and they can easily switch between languages.
You see, understanding the stages of language development in bilingual children is essential for parents and educators to support their growth effectively.