There are many benefits to being bilingual, after all, languages are the windows into a new world. If you want your child to be speak more than one language, it’s imperative to start early.
Start before they hit one year old.
Infants are born with the ability to mimic the sounds of languages. However, when they’re 10 months old, they start to narrow down the range of sounds to those they hear around them. So it’s always best to start before they are one.
If a parent or a close family member can speak a second language, have them speak to your baby as frequent as possible so that your child can be fully immersed in it. If no one else speaks a different language, you’ve got to do things the hard way – which means teaching them when they’re about 2 or 2 and a half year old.
How to teach your child a new language.
Why 2 or 2 and a half year old? That’s because you have to wait for them to undergo their “vocabulary explosion”, which means that they’ll learn plenty of new words. After this stage, it’s safe to send them to a language class. Preferably one with a native speaker and lots of speaking, as we doubt that teaching grammar to a toddler would be of any use.
Apart from sending your child to a class, try to introduce foreign-language pictures books, videos, or TV shows. Another way is to have them listen to music.
While the journey won’t be easy, it will all be worth it as it is a gift that can last a lifetime.