Why You Should Teach Your Baby a Second Language if You’re Bilingual


Why You Should Teach Your Baby a Second Language if You’re Bilingual Miami Moms Blog

Living in South Florida automatically submerges you into a diverse community of people from different cultures and backgrounds.  Miami is also unofficially known as the capital of Latin America, considering it’s relatively close to Latin American countries. Hence, Spanish is heard just about anywhere in South Florida.

Many bilingual parents may be contemplating whether or not they should teach their baby a second language. A reason parents could be hesitant is because they worry their baby will get confused and have a delayed speech, etc. However, there are several benefits to raising a bilingual child. Here are a few reasons why you should teach your baby a second language.

The best time to learn a 2nd language is during early childhood.

The earlier a child learns a 2nd language, the easier it will be to learn it. In fact, the best time to learn a second language is during the first 5 years because kids learn quickly and, chances are, they will learn it perfectly and speak it fluently their entire life. Plus, learning a new language becomes more difficult as we get older. My toddler is currently picking up Spanish and everyday he becomes more fluent. It’s amazing how easy it is for him to speak Spanish.

They will learn 2 languages simultaneously.

Children will learn English and your second language simultaneously (or Spanish/Portuguese and your second language). They learn how to dominate both languages and know when to speak in English and when to speak in Spanish. For example, my son has automatically learned to speak to his grandparents in Spanish and automatically switches to English when he speaks to my husband and me, and his cousins. We never taught him to speak in Spanish when he’s at his grandparents house, nonetheless, he’s learned this behavior by simply imitating us and what he hears.

Learning another language passes down a family tradition.

Whether your second language is Spanish, Creole, etc., speaking your family’s native tongue teaches your child to embrace family tradition. In a melting pot country like ours, it’s wonderful to be able to connect with our family’s roots and traditions and what better way than to speak the language of our ancestors.  

Learning another language opens doors to future possibilities (Schools, Jobs, etc.)

There is no secret, knowing a second language gives you the upper hand in school and in the workforce. Universities actually require high school students to take 2 years of foreign language before graduating. Also, because of the huge rise in the Hispanic population rate, many jobs in South Florida require being fluent in English and Spanish. What a great way to prepare your child for greater possibilities by simply teaching them a second language.

Learning another language is great for traveling.

I used to naively believe English was spoken almost in every country. Boy was I wrong! In America sometimes we tend to think the entire world speaks English and therefore expect for others to answer us in English while traveling abroad. Though English is spoken by others in many countries, foreign countries love to hear travelers attempt to speak their native language. Spanish is a plus if you’re traveling to Latin America and Western Europe. In France and in Italy, when the citizens realized I was bilingual, most surprisingly they would rather carry the conversation in Spanish.

Teaching your baby a second language has many positive results. Don’t be afraid to teach them as early as possible. They will thank you in the near future!