It has been established that bilingualism where children learn two languages simultaneously, puts children to an advantage in terms of language proficiency. It affords advanced cognitive skills, flexibility of thought and greater acceptance of peers from other cultural background (Bee, Helen and Denise Boyd, 2002. Lifespan Development, 3rd edition).
* Cognitive Advantages of Bilingualism
* Bilingualism does not impact on early language milestones like babbling. * In bilingual homes, infants readily discriminate between the two languages phonologically and grammatically. * Learning a grammatical device as using s to denote plurals in one language facilitate learning corresponding devices in the other language. * Bilingualism is associated with an advantage in metalinguistic ability, or capacity to think about language among preschool age children. * Most bilingual children manifest greater ability than monolingual children when it comes to focusing attention on language task.
* Cognitive Disadvantages of Bilingualism
* Limited vocabulary. Infants in bilingual homes that expressive vocabularies that are as large as those of the monolingual, but the words they know are divided between two languages resulting into a more limited vocabulary which continuous in the school years. * Think more slowly in the language in which they have the lesser fluency. Bilingual children are fluent in both languages and thus, encounter fewer problems, but they do not attain equal fluency. In such case, the tendency is for them to think more slowly in the language where they have lesser fluency, so that if this is the problems. * Parents who choose bilingualism should consider whether they can help their children achieve fluency in both languages. * Children who speak their immigrant parents` language tend to be attached to their parents` culture of origin and therefore are able to speak the language.