Essay on Bilingual Vs. Bilingual Children

Essay on Bilingual Vs. Bilingual Children

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Spanish is one of the most spoken non-English languages in the United States today. Around 37.6 million people from the ages of 5 and older speak Spanish at home. The number of Spanish speakers here in the US has grown rapidly over the last few decades and is expected to keep rising. (Gonzalez-Barrera & Lopez, 2013) A lot of children today are bilingual and there are many advantages to being bilingual and many disadvantages as well. Bilingual children are looked down upon many people because they seem to believe that they will mentally develop a lot slower than monolingual children due to the fact that they have to balance out two languages. Bilingual individuals are equally as advanced in their development as monolingual children are, if not, even more cognitively and socially advanced than people think.
A bilingual person is someone who is able to speak two languages. People become bilingual by learning a second language at the same time during their childhood or after acquiring their first language. Many bilingual people grow up learning two languages for example, the children of Hispanic immigrants. A lot of those children speak their native language, in this case Spanish, at home and usually learn the majority the English that they know at school. In order for a child to become bilingual they must be exposed to the language from an early age and interact with someone who knows the language they are being exposed to. A child cannot learn a second language just by being exposed to it; they must learn to interact with someone in that language so it is able to stick with the child. (Bialystok, Ellen, & Kenji, 1994)
There are a lot of people who believe that being bilingual makes these children fall behind when they are in scho...

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...l succeed more in life because they are able to test better than monolingual children. Even though it takes bilingual children a little longer to properly be able to speak, they are able to think outside of the box and their thinking and listening skills are enhanced due to being able to distinguish things in two different languages. Not many bilingual children fall behind in school but if they do it is for a little while and once they start getting older they catch up. Accents do not affect a child’s cognitive ability. If the language is taught by a certain age, they will not have an accent when they learn to fluently speak it. If an accent is developed, it will only have an impact on their speech production. Bilingual children are as advanced and possibly even more advanced than monolingual brains when it comes to their cognitive and social emotional development.  

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