October is Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month! It’s a great opportunity to celebrate kids who work hard to learn a new language. You can also honor parents who promote bilingualism and teachers who encourage bilingual literacy and increased parental involvement in schools.
The Many Benefits of Being Bilingual
There are countless reasons why it’s great to speak more than one language. Science has found that bilingual kids enjoy cognitive, social and emotional benefits. Moreover, these advantages begin in infancy and continue throughout the school years.
In addition, processing words and thoughts in multiple languages leads to brain changes. These modifications promote neuroplasticity and enhanced “executive function.” And those adaptations result in greater focus and an improved ability to switch between tasks.
Of course, there are also many job-related advantages for bilingual adults.
Taking Advantage of the “Critical Period”
Many language researchers believe there’s a critical period that begins to close around age 10. During this window of time, children are most open to learning new languages. Thus, early childhood is the best time to nurture bilingualism. Great methods include daily conversations, interactive play, and bilingual children’s books.
Maintaining a Home Language is Hard Work
Many immigrant families rapidly lose their home languages when living in the US. However, maintaining a home language and a sense of cultural heritage is highly valuable. It can lead to a more positive sense of identity, better outcomes in school, and stronger family relationships. Fortunately, there are many tips for families who want to maintain home languages and nurture these positive outcomes.
Free Handout of Ideas & Bilingual Book Giveaway
Language Lizard offers a free handout featuring 10 ideas for Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month. In it, you’ll find fun ways to showcase the bilingual children in your classroom. It will also help bilingual parents get involved in learning and get students excited to learn about new cultures and languages. Print and share this handout with parents and teachers to start celebrating!
Our Bilingual Book Giveaway began two years ago to honor Celebrating the Bilingual Child Month. Happily, it’s still going strong!
If you haven’t already, enter for a chance to win a surprise set of children’s books. We give away books throughout the year. Over $2,000 of language materials have already been given away! And, for the month of October 2019, we’ll select additional winners to receive book mini-sets in a mix of languages!
To enter, just fill out this form on our Giveaway Page. The sooner you sign up, the more chances you have to win! Books will be sent to US or Canada addresses only.
Comment and tell us how you will be celebrating the awesome bilingual children in your life!