Published Online: February 25, 2014
Published in Print: February 26, 2014, as Learning Language

Report Roundup

Learning Language

"Multilingual Children: Beyond Myths and Toward Best Practices"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

A research synthesis based on decades of evidence from the fields of medicine, psychology, education, and linguistics highlights common myths about children who grow up speaking more than one language.

Drawing upon more than 100 studies, the review concludes that multilingualism is an advantage to be nurtured and maintained, rather than a risk factor in a child's life. Published in the current issue of Social Policy Report, a peer-reviewed journal published by the Society for Research in Child Development, the report was endorsed in November by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A key finding is that the research it cites has failed to trickle down to practitioners who work with multilingual children, including educators and pediatricians.

The report identifies as one myth the perception that learning or speaking more than one language will confuse a child. Rather, it says, fluency in more than one language is associated with higher academic achievement and enhanced mental health. This is even the case when one language is not necessarily supported at home. By age 10, children in dual-immersion schools can perform on par with monolingual speakers of either language.

Vol. 33, Issue 22, Page 4

Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories