Community Languages Australia

Australian Federation of Ethnic Schools Associations Inc.

Resources

Presentationis

Drama: No barriers to language

Artistic Experiences Enhance The Way People

connect to the world and express their
feelings of life and sense of humanity
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Other Links

Practical information for families raising children in more than one language

Links: Bilingual and multilingual online resources

Second-Language Acquisition and Bilingualism at an Early Age and the Impact on Early Cognitive Development

Introduction

The possibility that early bilingualism affects children’s language and cognitive
development has long been a concern for parents and educators. In the first half of the
20th century, the prevailing view was that bilingualism and second-language acquisition
early in life made children confused and interfered with their ability to develop normal
cognitive functions1 and succeed in educational environments.2
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Bilingualism: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it an advantage to speak more than one language?
  • Is it true that all bilingual children start to speak later than monolingual children?
  • Should parents speak their mother tongue at home?
  • Isn’t it better for parents to speak English instead?
  • Parents often find their children refuse to speak their first language at home and insist on speaking English. What should they do about this?
  • Some parents say they are not teaching their child their family's language, because they want them to learn English first.
  • Some children tell their parents not to speak their language to them in the school playground or in public.
  • What about children who have speech problems and are seeing speech therapist? Should the parents stop speaking their first language at home and speak only English (even if their English is not very good)?
  • If a child is growing up with two languages (for example, Cantonese and English) and she sometimes uses English words when speaking Cantonese or vice versa, is she confused?

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Contact Us

Community Languages Australia

Executive Officer: Fahry Abubaker

L2, 189 Faraday St,
Carlton Vic 3053


Email: abubaker.fahry.f@communitylanguages.org.au
Phone: (03) 9349-2683
Fax: (03) 9349-26893