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Tri Lingualism and Speech Delay

  1. #9
    mrs momo is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Thanks all for your replies. I feel so much better as I am more comfortable speaking English to him. I can't read and write Chinese so it makes life easier if I stick to English. I have asked my helper to cut Indonesian but she also forgets too. So funny when she starts counting to him. Anyway thankyou all for your feedback.

  2. #10
    Lolipop is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Hong Kong
    I say the more languages at this age the better!

    What is the race to start speaking????

    The reason people say not more than one language is because they consider a speech delay to be a bad thing ... why??? Because the child is a bit behind his peers? ... that doesn't matter! tis competitive country drives me nuts sometimes - even when you think you do not fall into that box, you really do and you don't even know it!

    Research shows that the more languages a child can learn between ages 0-5 the more intelligent he/she will be! ... Because it develops the right side of the brain more, which is the side that becomes more and more redundant as we grow older.

    My daughter learned English / German since she was born and Cantonese / Mandarin since she was 1yr (when we moved here). She was very behind her speech development (although ahead in all other milestones) and then when it all clicked into place her speech was excellent - actually better than a lot of toddlers her own age!

    I am sorry but I hate it when people say no not too many languages - it will confuse them!!!! ... How can it confuse them when learning how ever many languages is all they know??? Don't base a baby / toddler's way of learning on your own way, because it is totally different - children especially between 0-5 absorb information completely different to you or I. For them learning more than one language is just a very minor thing to add to the thousand of things they are learning / absorbing every single day!

  3. #11
    PC_Man is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Sai Kung
    Would agree with most the posters here.

    Our kids are exposed to 3 languages regularly (Thai, English and Cantonese).

    The eldest, who turns 3 soon, was behind his peers at his playgroup in English language skills. We did get worried especially as his main teacher expressed concern and advised sticking to one language.

    However, in the last few months he has started to string small phrases together and has a decent vocab in both Thai and English for sure. cantonese is his lowest exposure but they will get more now he's started kindergarten.

    I think our initial impression that he would be slower to begin with but will end up stronger in languages will come through, but there will always be moments of concern until proevn.

  4. #12
    stilli is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Repulse Bay

    Multi-lingual Children

    I completely agree with Lollipop - my opinion is don't stop. Our daugher is 3 yrs and speaks English and German fluently - but she was "behind" her monolingual peers if you want to make comparisons of how much she could speak at what age - but she did understand everything. ne day - not all that long ago it just clicked. She went from mixing up English and German in the same sentence to speaking them both fluently. The best advise we were given was to have the parents (for example) each stick to one language rather than going back and forth between two because that apparantly creates some confusion. From birth my husband has only spoken German (his mother tongue) to our daughter and I have only spoken English (my mother tongue) - she responds to both of us in "our" language. As we just moved to HK she has now started in a bilingual pre-school with English and Mandarin - it has only been a few days but she loves it! Good luck to you!

  5. #13
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
    Have found these posts son is exposed to two first languages as my husband and I have different first languages and it is very important to us that he spoke both, especially as my husbands family speak very little English (my first language) and so to really be able to communicate with them it is important that our son speaks their language. Not only that but I think it's a gerat skill to have. I agree you should not stop teaching a child a language because they will be confused....I read that by 5 years old children who may have had speech delays due to being exposed to more than one language will have caught up with their peers...except they will actually be beyond their peers because they will have the benefit of speaking more than one lanuguage!

    He's only 10.5 months and I have worried a little over his speech development, although I shan't anymore....he can say Mama (English) and Abba (which is daddy in my husbands language) and that is about it- he speaks non stop, we just don't understand it!

    Is that true Cara- babies either walk early or talk early. My 10.5 month old is now walking by himself- he doesn't need to hold anything. Will be interesting to see how his speech develops!

  6. #14
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    that's always been my experience.

    they seem to need all their powers of concentration to master one skill first, then they move onto the next thing...

    my almost 7 month old has been crawling for 3 weeks...wonder if she'll walk first or talk first???

  7. #15
    Chinamama is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Hi There. I am a Developmental Psychologist, and this has been an area of interest of mine for the past few years.

    There is a vast amount of cognitive psychological research which strongly suggests that children being exposed to 2 or more languages during the langauge development years will initially slow their language production (not understanding), but that once they start speaking in their own time, their language use is not adversely affected, except that initially they tend to mix languages in together.

    Exposing your child to three languages means that he/she will develop the cognitive architecture required for all three languages, which will give him/her more "hooks" to hang language on in the future - in other words, if you know 3 languages it is much easier to learn more, but if you only know one language it is harder to learn a second.

    I'd say yout child is extremely fortunate to be exposed to such diversity!

  8. #16
    ck123 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    I have big problem with my son's speech delay. He was exposed to 2 language from birth. His development was normal except for his language skill. By 18 months he appeared to not understand any language at all (eg. simple instruction, calling name, pointing). Doctor even suggested that he has autistic features, which is very depressing for us. After that we spent lot of money on language therapy and decide that we will switch to 1 language only. Now he is 2.5 years old and start talking in 2 words combination.

    Billingual experience to us is a hauting and expensive one!

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