Three Myths of Being Bilingual

by | Jun 13, 2022 | News

Today, more people in the world are bilingual than monolingual. In addition to making communication easier across cultures, learning another language has cognitive advantages. Research shows that people who speak two languages can multi-task better than those who are monolingual. While learning a language is often more manageable at a young age, bilingual education is possible for adults and seniors. If you are considering learning another language, here are three myths of being bilingual you should know. 

Myth #1- Learning Two Languages Confuses Children

Some people think that teaching children two languages simultaneously impairs their cognitive ability and confuses them. However, this is not the case. Many children worldwide are taught two, three, or even four languages early without any cost to educational development. For instance, children in Switzerland often speak French at home, but many schools teach Italian and German starting in kindergarten.  

Contrary to the idea that being bilingual confuses children, evidence shows learning a second language enhances cognitive ability. Bilinguals have more cognitive flexibility, better auditory language skills, and they exhibit maturity at an earlier age than their counterparts. 

Myth #2- Speaking Another Language at Home Hurts Children’s Chance For Success

It is typically best for parents to speak the language they are most comfortable using with their children. If parents try to speak a language they are not fully fluent in with their children, they may provide a poor model. Sometimes immigrant parents force themselves to use English in hopes their children will assimilate more quickly. This is confusing for the children and unrealistic for parents. 

Parents should confidently speak another language other than English at home. Children educated in the U.S. will speak English at school and will have the added benefit of knowing another language.

Myth #3- Exposure Is Enough For Children To Learn a Language 

Some parents think that simply exposing children to another language will help them learn it quickly. However, exposing children to a language they cannot understand without comprehensive input on the mechanics of the language will not help them know it. Children need exposure, speech practice, and complete information on the meaning and mechanics of language to master it. 

How To Support Bilingual Learners 

Whether you are learning another language as an adult or raising bilingual children, you can do things to support bilingual education. Whether you are a learner, teacher, or parent, follow these tips to encourage dual language learning:

  • Use a content-based language instruction and learning approach
  • Maintain a positive relationship with the language and the learner
  • Set clear expectations when to use the language
  • Be patient and allow learners to use language naturally

Parents who speak another language at home can help children by encouraging them to use one language at home and one at school. This eliminates confusion and sets clear expectations for children. 

Work With HEAR Center

Are you interested in speech and language pathology services to support language development? Look no further than HEAR Center.

Contact us today to learn more about our services or to make an appointment:

Call or text: (626) 734-6555

Email us at: 

Chat us:

Also, for more information about our Speech and Language services please visit our webpage: