Bilingual language development in infancy: What can we do to support bilingual families?

Laia Fibla, Jessica Kosie, Ruth Kircher, Casey Lew-Williams, Krista Byers-Heinlein

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Many infants and children around the world grow up exposed to two or more languages. Their success in learning each of their languages is a direct consequence of the quantity and quality of their everyday language experience, including at home, in daycare and preschools, and in the broader community context. Here, we discuss how research on early language learning can inform policies that promote successful bilingual development across the varied contexts in which infants and children live and learn. Throughout our discussions, we highlight that each individual child’s experience is unique. In fact, it seems that there are as many ways to grow up bilingual as there are bilingual children. To promote successful bilingual development, we need policies that acknowledge this variability and support frequent exposure to high- quality experience in each of a child’s languages.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolicy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • bilingualism
  • infancy
  • language experience
  • language input
  • language outcomes
  • children
  • language acquisition
  • dual language learners

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