In today’s modern world, many people grow up speaking more than a single language without even realizing it. For those who are exposed to these multiple languages before they are aware of their being, the experience is natural and the only alteration to speaking would be switching tongues when speaking to either set of grandparents. It is amazing how similar the study results of infants brought up in a multilingual setting match up to those who are only exposed to a single language from birth. Actually, when you compare language processing and language reproduction, kids have no problem meeting their milestones because their brains are wired to code with the stresses of learning multiple functions of language - provided that this happens when they are still in their infancy. It is correct therefore to say that, the benefits of exposing kids to more than one language are simply worth the effort;
When learning to speak, all kids appear to follow a similar pattern; they will respond to visual or speech cues because they are familiar with the rewards they get. In teaching multiple languages, kids still respond to these cues but develop a conscious ability when it comes to identifying the different languages. This ability is quite pronounced that infants are able to suppress responses for one language in favor of another.
By exposing a child to language, they learn to process various aspects of the language from an early age. The language sensors of the brain are activated much more in kids than adults and that is why even kids who have not spoken their native language for years would understand it if spoken decades latter even if there was minimal exposure in between. Brain study has revealed that kids’ brains at 11 months bear sensitivity to the language or languages they have been exposed to from since birth. It is from this nature of brain activity that an individual is able to adapt to phonetic sound expression.
It is assumed that children of the same age have an almost similar mental ability but factors such as congenital disease, family dynamics, and genetics affect their performance at school. Well, bilingual children will perform better in tests that call for reorganization and manipulation of symbols. This same ability will manifest in problems that require linguistic awareness of meaning and form, even those that include misleading information which students must filter through.
It was for a long time believed that learning more than one language caused intellectual confusion and poor school performance but research has proved otherwise. While it is true that the greatest influencers for languages in kids are family history, place of birth, and living circumstances, the ability to grasp a language speaks more about an individual’s ability in some activities and even careers.
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