Myth and facts about Bilingual children’s books

Bilingual children's books

Experts note that the prestige of languages is their sociopsycholinguistic characteristic, which has a huge impact on the development of a child’s bilingualism. The prestige of the language is especially important for children and adolescents. Additive bilingualism is formed in a society where both languages are equally highly valued, so the bilingual development of the child is successful. In the opposite situation, subtractive bilingualism is formed. 

In Canada and the USA, bilingualism is so popular. Families from Korea, Russia, China, India, and other countries want their kids to learn English but also don’t miss the native language.

So, for instance, Koreans buy Korean English storybooks and read them to their children. Because Korean storybooks with English will help you learn English and don’t miss the native one.

Bilingualism is very cool these days. Therefore, I prepared the top 5 unusual myths/facts about bilingual children in the United States and Canada.

Myth #1: Infants/toddlers learning more than one language can delay speech and language development.

Fact: By the age of two, most bilingual children are saying two-word phrases (“mama dada”, “my ball”, “no juice”). Sometimes they mix words from two languages, which is completely normal, but worries parents. The latter even often stop learning a second language and focus on the first one.

The stage of difficult understanding of the speech of bilingual children is the norm. In the 2010s, tens of thousands of English-speaking parents in the US chose Chinese for their children. Such children can not always be understood, however, having matured, they almost perfectly speak two languages.

Knowing Chinese/English is a kind of life hack. There are very few such people in the US outside the Chinese community, and they can get a well-paid job even with incomplete school education. There is a particular demand for white bilingual women.

Myth #2: The number of bilingual children is declining due to the high number of mixed marriages and the dilution of immigrant communities.

Fact: The fashion for a second language appeared in 2008, after which the number of language children’s schools in the United States grew by 80%. The second language is in demand more than the sports or music sections. By 2050, a second language will become a more popular area of ​​children’s education than mathematics.

Currently, 24% of underage Americans are bilingual. At the same time, the statistics differ sharply from state to state. In California – 44% of bilingual children (usually know English and Spanish). In West Virginia, less than 2%.

By the way, the inhabitants of the last state have a unique quality. Almost 90% of them cannot distinguish non-English languages ​​from each other. For example, Russian, Chinese and French is one big mess for them.

Myth #3: In the long run, a second language is useless and a child will probably forget it.

Fact: An adult child can forget all the words of a second language, but it will take him almost 100 times less time to relearn it than any other child. This is a unique property of the human body, which has become even more perfect thanks to progressive tutoring techniques.

Learning a language, forgetting it, and then learning it again is one of the most effective ways to develop memory. It is on a par with memorizing long texts.

Myth #4: A second language will become useless in old age.

Fact: This is the biggest misconception. Recent studies by leading US medical organizations have shown that older bilingual children are much less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s syndrome. Moreover, a phenomenal detail was revealed: progressive dementia first erases the second language from memory and then takes up the main one. In one case, a 96-year-old man who knew as many as 11 languages ​​forgot everything but English. At the same time, tests showed him the last stage of Alzheimer’s, when a person forgets absolutely everything.

Myth #5: Bilingual children grow up to be very smart.

Fact: It’s not that simple. In the long term, the second language becomes not an additional knowledge, but an auxiliary tool that improves logic and cause-and-effect relationships. For example, a child from infancy to adulthood learned Chinese and English, and after 30 – 40 years old he achieved unexpected success in mathematics. A person does not even understand that it was the second language that opened the door to higher mathematics for him, which is not directly connected with it in any way.

A second language is a kind of lottery ticket that can be won at different stages of a person’s life.


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