A friend of mine, and a lifelong friend of my husband, asked me about the effects of different languages on children's speech. She is from the United States, but her husband is from Cuba. She has just started a blog, La Americana, about her mixed household and the blending of two cultures and two languages among five family members. I will feature her blog post next week about this topic since it relates to so many families.
Many parents want to expose their toddlers to more than one language but are afraid that doing so may cause a language delay. Children, especially toddlers, are like sponges. They soak up everything they hear and see, so this is a perfect age to teach them more than one language.
If you do suspect that your toddler has trouble communicating with you, experts suggest that you speak with your toddler in the language you're most comfortable with. That language may be English, Spanish, French, etc, even if a different language is spoken at school. If you think your toddler has a language deficit in one or both languages please seek the help of a certified speech-language pathologist. You can find out how to locate a local SLP by reading my blog post, Help! My Toddler Is Not Talking.
For more information on learning two languages please check out this article on the American Speech-Language Hearing Association Website, Learning Two Languages.
To learn easy and practical speech and language tips to help your toddler talk and communicate faster, be sure to check out my book on Amazon Kindle, Talking With Toddlers - 52 Tips to Boost Speech and Language Skills.
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