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If your child is bilingual....

Poll Results: Were your bilingual dc late talkers?

  • 22% (8)
    No--always right on par with most peers
  • 5% (2)
    Yes--but caught up at around 18 months
  • 11% (4)
    Yes--but caught up at aroun 2 years
  • 34% (12)
    No--they were always ahead of their peers verbally
  • 25% (9)
35 Total Votes  
post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Was he/she a late talker?

The old belief was that bilingual children tend to talk later than monolingual children; however, most of the recent research that I've seen demonstrates that this isn't true.

And yet, anecdotally, some of the bilingual families I know do claim that their children started talking later than their monolingual peers.

I would say that my dd was a bit of a late talker--almost no real words at 18 months, and then a very sudden and dramatic langauge explosion. At this point, I would actualy say that she is verbally more advanced than most of her peers, so she did catch up quite successfully. Despite the research, it just seems that this IS a rather common pattern for bilingual children.

So what about your bilngual lo's?
post #2 of 22
I voted other. (you need multiple choice, for siblings.)

DS was behind, even behind at 2 years. Now at 3.5 his vocabulary is OK, but probably still less than the average 3.5 yo. Additionally, he has severe ear infections, was almost completely deaf between age 1 and 2. He now has his 5th ear drain, and hears OK (we think).

DD is ahead, but I wouldn't say "always" been ahead, as she is only 18 months. She has a few hundred or more words, simple 3-4 word sentences....
post #3 of 22
I was raised bilingual, but I was a very early speaker. I think it differs per child..
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
OOPS. Double post.
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I voted other. (you need multiple choice, for siblings.)
Yes, I realized after I had created the poll that there really needed to be a few more options and the ability to account for siblings whose language development could vary considerably. However, I couldn't figure out how to edit the poll once it had been posted
post #6 of 22
my 2 year old is probably a bit advanced in english, her minority language, and a bit late with japanese (we live in japan).
post #7 of 22
I voted on par, DS1 is probably on the slower end of things with using spoken language but it's never been enough so that it particularly sets him apart from his peers. In a typical group there are those that speak more than he does and those that speak less. DS2 hasn't really entered the vocabularly race yet.
post #8 of 22
My daughter was an early talker.
post #9 of 22
Arjun is behind average. He's 17 months and only has 10-15 words -- less than 10 if you count the ones he uses regularly. He likes to "talk", though -- he can jabber with the best of them!

I had to put other as I don't know when he'll catch up. He's closer to average now, though, than he was at 12 months.
post #10 of 22
I voted other. Both my girls were right on par with their peers regarding just vocabulary, but seemed to be a bit later in forming sentences. DD2 is 2.5 and is just now forming more complex sentences, whereas other kids her age that we know have been doing that for sometime.
post #11 of 22
DD1 has always been at the average level for her age. We'll see how it goes with DD2. The other children we know who are bilingual seem to be at about an average level as well.
post #12 of 22
I voted Other because DD is only 15 months, but is still not talking much at all. Pretty much she only says; "Mamma" and "Kitty", with any real frequancy. Sometimes we get; "Nonna" and "Babbo" (Grannny and Daddy in Italian) and she uses a few other words, but they're not in regular use.

DD chatters a lot though, and is really good at communicating, She's just not using many words in English or Italian yet.
post #13 of 22
DD was a late talker in both english and french, is now great in english but still slightly behind in french and goes to a speach therapist, ds is not at a par with his contemporaries but is very much level in both languages..... we're getting there but it's been a bit of a struggle!
post #14 of 22
My first DS might have been a little late, I can't remember. But we also signed to him for a long time and I think that helped him learn to talk, cancelling out any delay he might have had? It sort of doesn't make sense that three languages would help him, but with the signing he was having two-way conversations at around a year, and then he learned to say the words he could sign. Also, I used the same signs whether I was speaking to him in English or Spanish so I think it reinforced everything and served as a bridge between the two languages.

My second DS just turned two and he is speaking both languages pretty well, I think. He hasn't figured out WHO in his world speaks which language, but he will switch over to the language that seems to be "in use" in any situation we're in. I think they're so smart!
post #15 of 22
My DS is only 14 months, so I don't know where he is just yet. His sister was speaking full sentences at this age, but I know that she was exceptional. DS says:

Anne (mother)
Baba (father)
haydi (let's go)
abba (for abla--older sister)
O ne! Ne o! (what is it?)
meeeeeiiiiiaaaaaaaooooowwwww (our cat is in heat)
cici (said when you're supposed to be petting something/someone nicely, softly)

Sometimes he says a few other words, but not with any regularity. Most of what he actually says is Turkish, but he clearly understands both languages and will follow commands in either--as much as any toddler follows commands anyway.
post #16 of 22
Dd was speaking complete sentences in both languages at 13 months. Ds was speaking complete sentences in both languages by age two (maybe some before?).
post #17 of 22
I was told in my multicultural sensitivity class for my teaching credential that bilingual children are often delayed because the brain is learning and sorting two languages.

My own personal experience has shown me that this is more of an individual thing. Generalizations are dangerous when it comes to people.
post #18 of 22
My DD was exposed to 3 languages simultaneously (sp?) until around 2 1/2 yo, and so now at 3 1/2 y.o. she's significantly behind her English-only peers. Although, I have seen a language "boom" since she moved to day care (from a foreign language babysitter) but I'm not worried a bit about her catching up.
post #19 of 22
I voted other because teh twins were language delayed (no words until after 2, still speak like a typical 2yo and they were 4 in Feb) but there are a lot of other factors. They were a bit premature, they are twins, I had another baby when they were 17 months old, etc. I consider both bilingual, but they definatly aren't strong in language. They were tested and really high in a lot of things, but language severely delayed. My singleton has always been really ahead verbally, but she's not so exposed to Hebrew yet. She'll start gan in the fall at 3 years 2 months and I'm confident she'll pick up the language quickly.
post #20 of 22
I had to vote other.
Late talker here and did not catch up by age 2 (not by a longshot). He is not on par with other kids his age in French (speaking it--he understands it fine), but he is making steady progress. He can express himself very well in English but still has some sounds we're working on (just on our own, not with any speech therapy).
My DS is also a visual-spatial learner so I don't think it's only due to bilingualism.
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