Naked Scientists: does bilingualism affect a baby’s development?

magnetic letters on fridgeEvery week, the Naked Scientists get world-leading experts to answer a question from the general public. This week, Esther asked a question close to all our hearts: will raising her daughter as bilingual delay her development?

As Professor Antonella Sorace from Bilingualism Matters explained, the research suggests that speaking two languages will help, rather than hinder, a child’s development.

“Bilingual children tend to pick up other languages more quickly, and learn to read earlier than monolingual children”, says professor Sorace. But it’s not all about academic achievement.

“Bilingual children also find it easier to appreciate that other people have different perspectives and different points of view” – in other words, bringing up your child bilingual may help them become a better and more tolerant citizen in today’s multicultural society.

The bottom line? Don’t be scared of bilingualism. It’s a great opportunity for your child, one they will thank you for in the long term.

You can listen to the interview with Professor Sorace, or read the transcript, by paying the Naked Scientists a visit:
Naked Scientists: Bilingual Babies