SOME KEY CONCEPTS IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
When learning a new language, there is often a period of time during which the young learner will not speak. This is a very active time in the child's brain as they begin to construct a model of the language.
It is perfectly natural during language development for young learners to mix their languages. This is not a sign of confusion, but rather an indication that they are using all their available resources to communicate.
Young learners often start by mimicking common and repetitious phrases without fully understanding what they mean.This is a natural step in language development.
Milestones in Language Development:
First words in Second Langage
This can take 3-4 months of immersion in the second language.
Capacity for Interaction in Second Language
Usually this develops rapidly during the 2nd year of immersion.
Academic Functioning in Second language
This can take up to 5-7 years of immersion in the second language.
SOME FURTHER READING
Garcia, O. (2009) Bilingual Education in the 21st Century
Bialystok, E. (2001) Bilingualism in Development
© Verenigde Scholen J.A. Alberdingk Thijm