Why is it an advantage to be able to understand and speak two languages?
- Can communicate with more people in their community and internationally
- Can understand different cultures
- Stay connected to their family – feel more secure in their identity and have more self confidence
- Helps them do well in school
- Helps when they come to learn more languages later
- Opens up more job opportunities as adults
Bilingual children may learn to speak later but there is no evidence that this is always the case.
Do speak in your mother tongue at home. Children learn language best if their parents are confident users of the language. When they learn an idea in their first language, e.g. colours or numbers, they will pick up the corresponding English word more easily.
Do encourage children to be proud of being able to use 2 languages and understand different cultures.
Don’t stop speaking mother tongue if your child answers back in English. This may eventually lead to the mother tongue being lost, your child losing their identity and being unable to take part when older family members are talking together.
You can call our Advice Line for more information
Thursdays between 10am and 12noon
East Fife: 01592 717569
West Fife: 01592 645234