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Bilingual child: can all children be bilingual?

The same chances for everyone?

Basically, all babies have the same learning abilities in many languages. Not necessarily because they are all gifted in language, but because they do not differentiate between languages ​​spoken. At birth, the natural plasticity of the newborn's brain allows him to easily learn several languages ​​as if he were simply acquiring language in his language.
Initially, the child becomes familiar with the phonemes (sounds) that are specific to each language. Then, he practices them by restoring them. The sooner the learning begins, the better. Indeed, from 3 years old, the little ones begin to lose their capacities of faithful restitution.

Be bilingual later?

As the child grows up, he integrates social rules and creates a blockage dictated by these conventions that may hinder his spontaneity. Indeed, in addition to the learning difficulties of learning a new language, this means not feeling embarrassed at the thought of speaking a language in an uncertain way. However, from a certain age, the children / adolescents avoid to the maximum of being in situation which could put them in default ...
Moreover, speaking another language requires a type of mimicry, if only to have an accent that is as close to the native as possible. The longer we wait, the more difficult it is to acquire these phonemes. It is also a matter of anatomical structure. The joints of the jaw end up freezing in the only spoken language and will have less flexibility when it will be necessary to acquire other sounds, other pronunciations.

Being bilingual ... and then?

Speaking multiple languages ​​in childhood allows the brain to exercise and maintain an elasticity that will later help in learning other new languages. This predisposition allows these children to learn a third (or fourth, or even umpteenth) language much faster and more intuitively, a little like the native people of the country.

It has been noticed that bilingual children have an open mind and a very developed curiosity. This is probably due to living in a family where respect for different cultures has led to the acceptance of a language other than kindergarten. This naturally pushes them to enrich themselves with different cultures and to integrate them as naturally in their way of life and their daily lives.

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