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Should young children learn two languages?

Average: 3.3 (20 votes)

You are probably on this page because you want to learn English. How old were you when you first started to learn? Do you think the younger you are when you start to learn a language, the easier it is?

Read this article about a new father whose baby girl will grow up speaking two languages.

Are bilingual speakers more intelligent?

My wife and I recently celebrated the birth of our first baby. Baby Lucy has two loving parents and will grow up in a in a house where two languages are spoken.

Lucy's mother is bilingual (she can speak two languages); I am her father and I cannot.
Since I found out my wife was pregnant I made more of an effort to learn my wife's language. My brothers sisters and parents were very encouraging towards my decision and gave me lots of support because we all know how difficult it is to learn another language, and how important it can be.

Anyone who has grown up in a household where more than one language is spoken will tell you that although it may sometimes be confusing, the benefits far outweigh any problems. Many people say the best time to learn a language is when you are young because children seem to pick up it up much easier than adults. There have been, however, very opposite views from some experts who believe that learning more than one language when you are young means you never fully master one language and you may even suffer in other academic areas.

I went to a typical school where a foreign language was only taught to us from around the age of 13. As hard as my classmates and I tried, we never seemed to get past intermediate level. We can read much better than we can speak, and we all have a problem with our listening ability.

A recent discovery has been made by researchers in the USA regarding illness and language. A report concludes that people who can speak two languages are more protected against Alzheimer's and dementia than others. So not only does learning English make it easier for you to travel and communicate with people from all over the world, it is also good for your health!

Now decide if the following sentences are true or false:

  • 1. The writer believes it is very easy to learn another language.

  • 2. Although it may be confusing for a child to learn more than one language, it is extremely beneficial.

  • 3. In the United States, students begin learning a second language at seven years old.

  • 4. Learning more than one language can make you less likely to get certain illnesses.