Speech Development and Bilingual Children

What are the benefits of teaching my child a second language?

There have been many studies that have identified the benefits of raising a bilingual child.  According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), bilingual children perform better than monolingual children on various language assessments.  Furthermore, The New York Times reported that being bilingual can reduce your risk of dementia and improves the brain’s ability to problem solve.

How do I teach my child a second language?

Make sure that you have the time to devote teaching a second language to your child.  This takes time and patience.  If your child does not spend time practicing the new language the chances of him / her becoming bilingual are slim.  Furthermore, parents need to be proficient in the language that they are teaching their child.  If you do not use the language nor are you knowledgeable of the language’s rules, it is a good idea to leave it up to the professionals.  For example, if your child is enrolled in Spanish class at school but you are not well versed in the language, have your child exposed in the school environment and leave it up to his / her educators.

How do I know if my child is struggling with speech?

If your child has not reached the speech-language milestones for his / her age, it is recommended that he / she have an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist.  Children who have limited vocabularies in either language should be evaluated.  Also, children who are ages 2-3 and do not use phrases and short sentences should be evaluated.

What should I do if my child is struggling with speech?

If your child is having difficulties with communication skills ASHA recommends using the language that you and your child are most comfortable with.  It is suggested not to overwhelm your child with a second language at this time.  It is ok if your child gets continued exposure to the language at school or another place.  If your child is having challenges in both languages it is recommended that your child receive a speech-language evaluation.

Key Therapies, LLC offers speech-language and feeding therapy services in Chicago and Northwest suburbs. If you have questions or concerns about your child, call us at (312) 715-7218 to schedule your FREE screening and consultation!
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