Bilingual is Better

camila's brain is more flexible thanks to bilingualism

Remember a couple of weeks ago I told you that my daughter needs to be evaluated by a speech therapist because her clarity is below average for her age? I’m still waiting to get the appointment due to health insurance coverage issues. (No surprise here, huh?) Meanwhile, I’ve noticed something that left me in total awe and completely gave me one more point to validate her bilingualism.

As I’ve mentioned before, my girl has no problems expressing herself and is always talking up a bilingual storm. The lack of clarity in her speech has brought up many emotional issues of frustration when we don’t understand her. Of course, mamá is supposed to understand TODO, but that’s really not the case. Since she started going to a Montessori preschool two months ago, she’s been a lot more patient and creative in the ways she expresses herself. For example, the other day she wanted me to give her a “menta” (mint) but I wasn’t getting it. So she said and mimicked: “Grande, círculo blanco que pica.” Hilarious and smart. She’ll be great at charades!

A couple of days ago she was very excitedly telling me a story, but, again, I just could not understand one word in particular. I can’t remember the word right now, but the main point is that she immediately realized I wasn’t getting it so she repeated the word, IN ENGLISH. Ligthbulb moment for this mamá.  Bilingualism helps, not hinders her speech delay! Get it?  The fact that she knows two words for every object alleviates her feelings of frustration when we can’t understand her because she figured out she can just switch to the other language.

I can’t even begin to explain to you how happy, proud and amazed I was by this.  One more brownie point for the bilingual mission, and one more bilingualism myth to dispel.

As a matter of fact, recent studies have found that infants raised in bilingual households can tell unfamiliar foreign languages apart and that bilingual speakers who rapidly switch between languages are better mental multitaskers than their monolingual counterparts.  Qué bello, ¿no?

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