Bilingual is used to refer to those children who are able to converse or at least have been spoken to in more than two languages at their birth homes or at daycare. Raising a bilingual child is highly challenging thus requires an individual to be more innovative, committed and dedicated. Bilingualism encourages learning and speaking of more than one language most of the time. Children with exposure to learning a second language have the opportunity to develop in the world. The new opportunities may be in terms of whom they can converse with, what to be read, and where they can visit at ease.
People seek out for bilingual children because of different reasons that motivate them to raise bilingual children. This includes use of different languages to converse and that the parents use similar language, yet they live in a society where most people speak something very different. Therefore, a bilingual home situation occurs when both parents use different languages to speak to the child, whereas a bilingual setting situation involves parents wishing to speak their own language to children even when the children requires to function in the outside world.
During this period of research on the experience from those having bilingual children, various questions need to be answered. For instance, do these children become confused when they are spoken to by different languages? Here we find that children are never affected since they are extremely sensitive to various ways people speak. They learn very quickly about the differences between the manner in which men and women speak. Thus, bilingual situation is just a matter of other differences between people.
Research shows that bilingual children never mix their languages when speaking. They achieve this by being careful and only using relevant language. The best way to teach children to speak more than one language without mixing is through exposure and desire. For example, exposing a child to a language in various situations with many different people from their time of birth, they will learn the language if they desire to interact with world around them. Exposing a child to two languages with different people from the time, they are born, and if they desire both languages to communicate with those close to them, they will learn both languages.
Some benefits arise from raising bilingual children and they include having the ability to speak and interact well with people of different languages. They stand a good chance of understanding their own culture at a faster rate than monolingual children understand. Bilingual children are beneficial because they are able to speak with their parents and the large family in their own mother tongue. These children are in better position of forming relationships more easily if they can speak and not hold that feeling of isolation and separation from the family. It provides them with a good opportunity to learn a second language, which opens for them new chances to read, communicate and even travel while at ease.
Learning different languages is seen as an opening to new opportunities especial in the development of problem solving ablilities, memory skill, reading abilities, performing well in academic especially in college levels. A bilingual child increases his or her self-esteem and self-confidence (Suite101.com, 1999). This is because the child is able to adapt easily to various language environments. However, there are challenges encountered in the process of teaching the child a different language. For instance, chances of the child mixing languages temporally especially when he or she does not get the some words clearly. This may lead to poor balance in a child. In case he or she does not hear the second language clearly, they may lack enough exposure for that language to grow naturally. Therefore, it is extremely necessary that both parents know and understand well the more significant language to enable a child not to desire the less important language.
Suite101.com. (1999, Dec 21). A double life: raising bilingual children. Retrieved from http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/world_languages/30284.