4 years ago10,000+ Views
As I was browsing old editions of The Economist last night ( as I have a tendency to do when I'm bored), I came across an article entitled 'Bringing up baby bilingual'. Of course, this piqued my interest. As someone who loves foreign languages and spends a large amount of time learning foreign languages, I have every intention of raising my future kids bilingual (if not trilingual!). I envision my kids being raised in a household where more than half of the books on the shelves aren't in English... It was once believed that raising children to speak more than one language would interfere with their first language, resulting in an inarticulate, confused little one but as the author says 'such beliefs are woefully out of date today'. The author goes on to indicate the benefits of early-stage language learning for example bilingual children as young as seven months outperform monolinguals at tasks requiring “executive function”: prioritising and planning complex tasks and switching mental gears and bilinguals have, on average, later onset of Alzheimer’s disease than monolinguals. Not bad reasons...!
what a smart idea - I wish I'd been raised bilingual!
@zhengshi I speak Chinese, Korean and English, I'm working on getting my Spanish back to an advanced level, I'm also learning Russian and Japanese and I'm keen to pick up my French (which is appalling!) hahah
I was raised speaking a tiny bit of Tagalog, but I've lost most of it :( I agree that early language learning is really important though!
@funkystar25 how many languages do you speak? I'm definitely going to try and raise my children speaking Chinese...Chinese is becoming such an important language these days
I think it's a really smart idea to raise your kids bilingually - aside from the health benefits, it also greatly increases their employment opportunities and just broadens their mind in general. On a side note - that's a really cute baby~!