Languages are Asset..
Languages are Asset and Treasure.
Learning multiple languages is easier for children than it is for adults, but children who are exposed to languages other then their mother tongue in a foreign country often miss out on learning their native language. Learning different languages reflects to keep your culture alive. Raising a bilingual child is common in most parts of the world, especially in India, where its more common for children to be raised in a bilingual family or community. Even though I hail from South Indian Tamil family, I've learned quite a few languages in my early childhood may be as I was exposed to learn different cultures and languages with different people. I can understand and speak my mother tongue to an fair extent but the more command I have in Hindi which is the National language of India and Marathi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, English as ten good years I spent in Maharashtra and other parts of India. Especially the communication part to speak and to understand. Same we are trying to do with our four and half yr old son even if not so many languages but the one which we can train him. So that, tomorrow he's not surprised when he visit his own birthplace.
For one, we said that we would speak in Tamil to the child, at home. As English is major in Singapore and he's getting good command on that. We decided to give him a strong base in one language, as at his age he would pick up other languages easily, we argued. This involved us having to work hard at getting comfortable and so we decided to distribute our teaching sessions, making it more fun and so my hubby Sriram decided to teach Tamil to write and speak and I took charge of Hindi. Soon I realised, This only works when we sit down and create ways by which he can enjoy and appreciate languages. We sing songs (not rhymes, actual songs) in various languages and then he insist that he want to learn that song. I am not very stressed about complete knowledge of a language, and being able to write poetry in it. I don’t even think I care about reading literature in various languages. As when we go abroad and travel foreign countries and when we know little foreign language and converse with the people over there it feel great as English is worldwide today's generation kids don't face such problem. Likewise various parts of India – we have lots of languages here and they can all be a lot of fun to learn and if you one knows the National language of the country i'm sure that traveller will enjoy to explore India. Perfect grammar and sentence constructs are not important, school teachers can deal with such things, I feel children should sing and speak and enjoy rolling , twist their tongue. And create magic with language and speech.
As a parent one must always encourage children's to learn different language and support their learning process of life. Children are always discovering new things, but learning a new language is a uniquely rewarding experience—at any age. For children, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with their first steps toward a second language can spur them on to a deeper and broader passion for learning in general. And because children are at a early age, the ease and pleasure of the experience may boost their confidence and their desire for new discoveries. Knowing more than one language will help to build confidence in them.
Now the question arises if the speech delay, well the research shows that as long as the child has a strong model of the language (or at least one primary language), than learning several at once is fine (if not great) for kids. It's much better to do it early than later, the research also shows that the 'window of opportunity' is truly between 0-6 years old. Even we have a bilingual family and my son speech was also bit delay but now he s much better. And we are on groove to make his language better as in Singapore he s more exposed to Mandarin and English language. The more languages the child is exposed in the beginning, the longer it takes for them to talk and learn concepts colours, alphabet etc. But once they do, they cannot stop. And especially parents must remember and prepared not to compare your children with others that are monolingual.
That's why it's a apt say- Languages are Asset, Languages are Treasure.