Why do we want bilingual children?

There are many reasons for this question, but two of the most common ones are:

1. Parents speak two different languages (for example, an American woman and a Turkish man)

2. Parents speak only one language but live in a community where people speak another language (for example, a Korean couple living in the United States of America)


Don't children get confused when they hear two languages around them?

no Children are incredibly sensitive to the different ways people speak. Even when they only hear one language, they learn very quickly about the difference between the way men and women speak, the difference between polite and impolite ways of speaking, etc. For children, bilingual status is just a difference between people!

Fifty years ago, educators across North America told immigrant parents that it would be best for their children to speak English at home for their children's education. Some researchers thought that early exposure to two languages put children at risk. More recent research has shown that this is not the case and that being bilingual may have benefits such as more flexible thinking.


What is the importance of children's bilingualism?

In an increasingly globalized world, knowing more than one language has become a valuable skill. Fenugreek not only promotes cognitive benefits but also helps children better understand and engage with different cultures.

1. Bilingual children typically demonstrate superior executive function skills such as problem solving, attentional control, and multitasking due to the constant need to switch between languages.


2. Improved memory and problem-solving skills: bilingual children perform better in using memory and have stronger abilities than normal children.


3. Delay in Alzheimer's disease: Studies have shown that bilingual people have less cognitive decline and show a delay in the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.


4. Getting to know different cultures: bilingual children learn to appreciate different cultures and customs more and communicate with their second language. Bilingualism enables children to form stronger and more meaningful relationships with speakers of other languages and provides a solid foundation for future global communication.


5. The process of learning a new language introduces children to different perspectives and world views, empathy, understanding and tolerance of diverse cultures.


6. Career opportunities and economic benefits: Bilinguals enjoy a competitive advantage in the labor market due to their ability to communicate in a second language, often leading to higher salaries and more lucrative job opportunities. Knowing multiple languages makes bilingual people work well in the global market because today multicultural teams and international cooperation are a common thing.


How to start bilingual education for our children?

The main thing you should keep in mind is that parents talk less to children and teach their child more behaviors and actions like walking, smiling and eating etc. The most important thing in language development is exposure and need for that language. If the child is exposed to two languages in different situations with different people and if he needs both languages to communicate with the people around him, he will learn both. Happy Ant recommend you to study the influence the environment on language learning by children article. 


Do you mean that if our children are exposed to two languages from birth, they will learn both?

Children can do this without any problem and there is no harm for them. The important part is to make sure they have enough exposure to both languages. In most cases, when you want your children to learn another language that is somehow "more important", the best solution is to provide them with enough opportunities to use their language in a way that is not forced. The best way to manage is to put children in situations where they only use the language you want them to learn, so that there is no temptation to go back to the previous language.


What do we mean when we say that a language is "more important"?

It means when one language is needed more than another language. For example, suppose there is an American woman and a Turkish man in a family and they speak English to each other at home. Children understand that English is used in cases where the language is not Turkish and think that English is "more important". But if the same family moves to Turkey, the children will find that Turkish is used in many situations where English is not, and they may decide to speak Turkish. Some children are very sensitive to these differences and may be reluctant to use another language, especially if other children do not use it.

When we talk about a language being "more important" here, we're only talking about the children's perspective! However, many bilingual adults are "fluent" in one of their languages. Even if the differences between their two languages are subtle, most bilinguals feel a little more comfortable in one language than the other to talk about certain topics.


Is it better to start teaching the second language after the children speak well in the first language? 

Definitely not, especially in bilingual homes where the second language is probably less important to the kids. Introducing a second language almost makes them think it's less important and not worth the effort.

On the other hand, in a bilingual situation, there is no harm in letting children learn English naturally and gradually. In fact, a more common problem with the bilingual situation is that children sometimes reject their mother tongue in favor of a second language.


My wife and I speak different languages, if we want our children to be bilingual, should we speak our own language?

Many experts recommend the "one parent - one language" method for bilingual homes. The idea is that the mother always speaks to the children in her own language and the father always speaks to them in his own language. This is a good foundation for a successful bilingual home, but it is not the only case, and even a monolingual parent can make mistakes.