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Online Resources: Frequently Asked Questions

Should I raise my children bilingually? What resources are available to help?

Parents who speak more than one language are generally eager to share their languages with their children. As they begin this important undertaking, parents frequently have questions about how second language learning affects reading ability, social skills, and scholastic achievement. Whether or not they speak more than one language themselves, many wonder how best to help their children learn more than one language.

Research suggests that children who learn a second language are more creative and better at solving complex problems than those who do not. Studies have shown that bilinguals outperform similar monolingual peers on both verbal and nonverbal tests of intelligence and tend to achieve higher scores on standardized tests. Individuals who speak more than one language have the ability to communicate with more people, read more literature, and benefit more fully from travel abroad. Knowing a second language also gives people a competitive advantage in the workforce. These are some of the compelling reasons for parents to encourage the development of a second (or third) language with their children.

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