The brain is primed to learn language early in life, so it is easier for young children to learn a second language. This makes early childhood an important time to support children’s dual language development.
Remember that bilingualism does not cause language delays. That’s not the case! There are distinct benefits to learning more than one language. Bilinguals have better executive function and are more flexible thinkers. But adults can support and strengthen cognitive flexibility in monolingual children too. For example, play games that involve following directions, inhibiting responses or taking turns.
The language experience we have during our early years and beyond determines our language outcomes. In other words, the amount and type of language input matters. This is true whether a child is learning one, two or even more languages. We can support and build strong language skills through back-and-forth interactions with other people.