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The Benefits and Challenges of Raising Multilingual Children

Parents, especially in the globalized world of today, invest a lot of time and money in their children's education and lingual development, as it can provide numerous long-term benefits for their personal and professional lives. Raising children to be bilingual or multilingual can be a rewarding experience, but it is not without its challenges.


In this blog, we will delve into the benefits and challenges of raising multilingual children, and offer strategies for overcoming any obstacles that may arise. Whether you are just starting on this journey or have been raising multilingual children for some time, this blog will provide valuable insights and guidance. So, if you are considering raising your child or children to be multilingual, or are already on this path, keep reading to learn more about the rewards and challenges of this rewarding endeavor.


What Are the Main Benefits of Raising Multilingual Children

Multilingualism can bring numerous advantages to children's lives. From cognitive development to enhanced communication skills, the benefits are varied and well worth considering. Following is a list of the top benefits of raising bilingual or multilingual children.


a young boy learning new language in a classroom using a tablet and some books. Generated by Dall E

Adaptation to New Environments

In today's world, children are exposed to a greater rate of changing environments than in the past. In such a context, children need to adapt to new environments fast enough to keep their development and education. Bilingual children communicate more easily with new environments and new cultures, Faster adoption also reduces the stress children experience.



children from different cultures playing a game on the world map with happy faces


Job and Educational Opportunities

Studying in the international community and being admitted to good universities in the world requires mastery of the world's prominent languages, and the winner in the competition is someone who is fluent in several languages. Also in professional life, employers all over the world focus a lot on communication, and those who know more languages have the ability to communicate more, and as a result, they are more noticed by employers.


a young teenage boy giving speech to multinational people. generated by Dall e

Creativity and Flexible Thinking

Neuroscience studies show us that bilingual children have brain changes that enable them to actually think more flexibly therefore, bilingual children are better equipped to deal with complex tasks and problems.

A good example is a complex math problem requiring the child to choose which information is relevant selectively. These children may even be able to pay attention to classroom distractions more easily than monolinguals.


Different Languages, Different Perspectives

Learning new languages changes people's priorities and aspects of their personality and lifestyle. Scientists even researched how a language creates a "Linguistic Intellectual Structure". The intellectual concept of language means that when you use different languages, you feel that you are a different person. The reason for this may be the grammar and different structures of languages.


Better Memory

One of the benefits of learning a second language is to increase and strengthen memory. This is surprisingly effective for both children and adults. If you are trying to learn a second language with your child, each step of the learning process will strengthen your memory.


What Are the Challenges of Raising Multilingual Children?

Raising multilingual children doesn’t come without any cost, Some of these challenges are mentioned in the list below.


Being Receptive Bilingualism

Receptive bilingualism is the ability of a person to speak a particular language, and understand another language but not be able to speak it. Oftentimes, this is a result of a genuine need for the language, not enough exposure to the language. Lack of vocabulary is a strong factor to consider in receptive bilinguals.


Lack of Fluency

Research shows that bilingualism does not cause speech delays, however, some children may take longer to become fluent in both or all languages. While it may not be the case for all children, it is completely normal. Bilingual children have learned twice as much vocabulary as monolingual children, so it sometimes takes a little longer to sink in.


Mixing Languages

It is not unusual for bilingual children to start a sentence in one language and finish it in another language. Bilingual children use whatever words they know to express themselves,

so if they feel uncomfortable continuing a sentence in one language due to a lack of grammar or vocabulary, they may shift to another language.


a cute girl puzzled by words in different languages above her head.

Reading and Writing

While learning to speak is a natural process, reading and writing require a lot more effort. Unless you home-school or give your child a bilingual education they will only be educated in one language. Some children who are raised bilingually will never become proficient in both languages to the same level.


Prejudice

Most people consider bilinguals to be special, however, some people consider them to be weird or strange. Immigrants seem especially different and somehow still attached to their culture. They have a strange accent that evokes them and describes them as different. Children can sometimes be mean, teasing them for attacking people who are different from them.


Overcome the Challenges of Raising Multilingual Children

Where bilingual children may face any of the challenges listed above, there are many ways they can be minimized or completely overcome. Much of language learning can be done at home, with regular and balanced exposure to both languages. Immersing a child in language every day can pay off tenfold, for example by integrating speaking two languages into everyday activities. While parents may consider a number of these tasks to help their child learn, it's still important to make sure the learning process is fun and enjoyable.


FAQs About Raising Multilingual Children


What are the benefits of a child being bilingual?

Being multilingual or bilingual often helps children do better in school because it helps them with problem-solving, multitasking, creativity, and flexible thinking. These children can also have good concentration and benefit from extraordinary brain function. In the future, they will have more job opportunities and it will be possible for them to travel to different countries of the world.


What happens if a child grows up bilingual?

Learning a language is a great way to keep your brain healthy. Making a child bilingual can improve multitasking skills, attention control, problem-solving, and creativity because it promotes thinking outside the box. It can also help improve a child's memory.


Do bilingual kids develop slower?

Learning two languages ​​in childhood does not slow down development. The idea that bilingualism stunts children's development has been a longstanding myth in the United States. However, research has dispelled this myth.


Do bilingual kids talk late?

Bilingual children are likely to say their first words a little later than monolingual children, but still in the normal age range (between 8 and 15 months).


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