At our international preschool, we are fortunate to have friends from all over the world. Many of our children’s only exposure to English is at school. Some of the children in our school even come from bilingual families and English is their third language.
A child’s formative years (from 0-7/8) are a period where they learn more quickly than any other time of their life. This means that language acquisition is far more easy for them than teens and adults.
During these formative years, a methodology that works very well is that of “one person one language: (OPOL). This method is useful for families wherein more than one language is spoken as a mother and father’s native language can be simultaneously developed in the child(ren) from birth. Children then are able to learn two (or more) languages from a native speaker which is especially important while perhaps living outside of the country where that language is spoken.
Studies have shown that bilingual children actually process information in a more effective way than children who speak just one language. This can help them in their school careers, with their socialisation skills, and can open up a vast world of travelling and knowledge.