Myths and realities about early childhood bilingualism

Flashcards with words in spanish and english

Florida has the third largest K-12 student population using a language other than English at home.

Dr. Ryan Pontier studies bi/multilingualism in the classroom. As visiting assistant professor in the School of Education and Human Development, he shared with The Children’s Movement of Florida what he has learned about four popular myths regarding early childhood bilingualism.

Many of these myths are common: bilingual children are confused, delayed in their speech and only need to hear languages to grasp them. However, these myths don’t reflect the findings of researchers like Pontier. His tips are useful for educators, parents and other caregivers who are looking to better support children’s overall language development.

This article first appeared in The Children’s Movement of Florida on May 15, 2019.