Multilingualism – Mistakes are Fundamental to the Learning Process |  September 3th, 2018

Bilingualism and multilingualism are increasingly valuable skills in an increasingly globalized world where travel is becoming the norm rather than the exception


When stimulated, the ability of small children to learn is quite astounding. Just consider how much information children process during the first two or three years of life. Body language, expression, gesture and other non-verbal communication are steadily assimilated alongside formal language. Language is complex and full of irregularities, yet whether acquiring Chinese, Arabic, Hindi or English, children are not fazed by difficulties, they merely take them in their stride. 

Of course they will make mistakes, but any teacher will tell you that mistakes are fundamental to the learning process. Perhaps “I goed to the park with Mummy” is not grammatically correct, but its meaning is clear and it is a very logical sentence gleaned from other past tense English constructions. Children love to imitate and when given good models they will learn and remember all sorts of items of information.

The ‘mother tongue’ or first language is gradually understood and between the ages of one and one and a half, many babies will have a spoken vocabulary of about 20 words. The comprehension vocabulary will inevitably be far greater. For example many babies can point to different body parts without necessarily being able to name them. 

At the age of about three, many children can meaningfully use up to a thousand words. The encouragement given by family members is fundamental to the speed and success of the acquisition of language.

When a child’s family members speak more than one language there is every likelihood, if given clear models and positive reinforcement, that the little one will learn another or even a third language alongside the mother tongue. When teaching the word ‘dog’ why not teach ‘chien’ and/or ‘hund’ at the same time? Bilingualism and multilingualism are increasingly valuable skills in an increasingly globalized world where travel is becoming the norm rather than the exception.

Bilingual and trilingual people will be in great demand in the future and there is no doubt of the desirability of having such abilities. There are methods which will aid you in your quest to help your child to become and practice more than one language. The CognitoBaby multilingual app was developed for exactly this task. The app contains a multi-language library that contains 27 languages, and a function which allows to run up to 4 languages simultaneously while children play and explore the app. 

Learning languages should be fun, colourful and stimulate as many senses as possible. CognitoBaby ensures that this is the case. This, with the addition of love, patience and a lots of praise and encourage could lay the foundations of true multilingualism in your child. 

You might also like: Restricted and Elaborated codes in children language development


Download for free CognitoBaby on Google Play Store and IOS



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