The whole month of October every year is marked as Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month. Most bilingual children come from families of immigrants whose first language is not English, but gradually, states and schools are incorporating bilingual education into their programs to embrace cultural diversity and allow intercultural communication.
History of Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month
Bilinguals can read and or write in two different languages while also having an understanding of the culture and tradition of both languages. The first language often referred to as the mother tongue is usually acquired in homes and recurrent places in the individual’s life, while the second is in a more formal environment.
Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month was founded in 2006 by Language Lizard to help children who are learning to speak two or more languages and also provide support to their parents and teachers. The aim is to showcase learning in a fun and interactive manner while also providing educational and fun ways to celebrate diversity in the classroom and at home.
Effective communication is known to break all barriers, our languages tie us to cultures, a sense of communal feeling and belonging. Not one language has dominance over another and native dialects should not be treated with disdain and given lesser preference than the accepted language in the state.
Children growing up with more than one language tend to be immersed in a multi-cultural environment making them more open-minded and accepting of others, but the environment they find themselves in is not always supportive. Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month seeks to highlight the importance of learning new languages and instill pride and joy in the bilingual child.
Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month timeline
French Psychologist Ronjat publishes a report that shows bilingual upbringing has no adverse effects on a child's cognitive development.
An estimate by linguist David Crystal shows that two-thirds of the world's children grow up in a bilingual environment.
4% of the world's population do not live in their country of birth, thereby adjusting to their host language.
The ability to understand more than one language is no longer seen as out of the ordinary, but as a common and natural practice in today's society.
Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month FAQs
At what age should we introduce another language?
It is advised to introduce a new language as early as when a child is born and or before they are 10. Speaking to a child in different languages will not hinder their understanding in any way.
Should my kids take extra lessons in another language?
The best way to quickly learn a language is through immersion. Your child can take lessons and will learn faster if that language is also the primary language in the environment they frequent.
What happens when they pick one language over another?
This is not an issue and only happens due to the frequency of usage. The predominant language is given the most attention by the child. This means they communicate more with the language that gets the most attention from their parents and teachers.
How to Observe Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month
Challenge your children
Use this month to speak to your child in their first language, have them call family back home and practice their sentences. Always remind them of the importance of their language and its equality with other languages.
Organize a playdate for the kids
A playdate with other bilingual children will give your kids the confidence they need to openly talk about the languages they understand. Make your children get lots of chances to hear and use their second and other languages while also emphasizing the importance of the month to them.
Share it online
Create more awareness and support for the bilingual child by sharing and posting about this month on all your social media platforms. It can help you locate parents of bilingual children and resources in your community.
5 Facts About Language Diversity To Know
Globalization is killing languages
Globalization has led to some languages going extinct, since the world is dominated by economically powerful languages.
The children determine its longevity
Any language that is not spoken by children in any setting, be it at home or outside the home is considered endangered and liable to die off easily.
No unity in division
Language diversity is falsely accused of causing political conflicts and division.
It has been argued that promoting a universal language in the world will increase peace and harmony.
Prone to extinction
It is reported that a language does not survive if it has less than 100,000 people who speak it.
Why We Love Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month
It gives children an academic advantage
Bilingual children are known for understanding language structures better and are also good at multitasking. This also gives them an edge over others and the ability to learn more languages and easily understand diversity.
It increases awareness of other cultures
This is a faster way to learn about diverse cultures and traditions. Everyone in the community has a better appreciation of different languages and cultures, thereby upholding unity in diversity.
To maintain and recognize history
We love Celebrate the Bilingual Child Month because it gives all children an opportunity to acknowledge their origins and gives them a communal feeling about their heritage.
Celebrate The Bilingual Child Month dates