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Children’s early experiences with language form the foundation for later language learning. Infants learn language by listening to the language that surrounds them everyday. Their brains change in response to what languages they hear.
Whether children are monolingual or multilingual, their language learning typically follows the same trajectory. Children who learn a second language at a later point may reach these milestones for their second language months or years later. This is the natural progression for DLLs.
DLLs’ brains get an extra workout. Switching between two languages requires the brain to use inhibition and task-switching skills. Speaking more than one language can also help boost children’s memory skills.
Topic:Culture and Language
Keywords:Dual language learners
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning
Last Updated: January 10, 2019