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Does Learning Multiple Languages Delay a Child’s Speech and Language Development?

MYTH: Children who are bilingual talk later than children who are monolingual.

TRUTH: Children who are bilingual should hit the SAME developmental milestones as children who are only exposed to one language. These milestones include saying one word by age one and using 2-word phrases by age two (e.g., Hi Mommy, more juice).

For a period of time, children who are learning multiple languages may mix the grammatical rules of the languages. They may also formulate sentences containing words from both languages. These are normal parts of developing multiple languages.

If a child has only been exposed to one language, and a second language is introduced at a later time, it is normal for that child to go through a “silent period” for several months while learning the second language.

If you would like to know if your child is on track with his or her language development, click here to take one of our developmental quizzes.

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Reference: American Speech Language and Hearing Association

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