The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Being 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…show more content…
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 school, when there are actually a multitude of advantages to knowing two languages. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (2015) these benefits include, being able to learn words easily, being able to breakdown words a lot easier when trying to read, good listening skills, and being a lot more open to new ideas. Sometimes a child might have a speech or language problem and it will show up in both the languages they are speaking but it is not caused from being bilingual. Centeno (2013) found 4 powerful benefits for a child to be bilingual. The first one being the emotional benefits, for example, if a child’s family’s native language is Spanish and the child knows Spanish,
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