Question

Children's Learning & Development

I hope that my child can be bilingual. What can we do to help him achieve that?

What the Expert Says

By Brian Caswell

Dean of Research and Program Development at MindChamps

Internationally-acclaimed author of more than 300 books, mainly of which have won literary awards

Established speaker and literacy consultant

According to research, exposure to a bilingual environment may give young children a cognitive advantage over those who use only one language. Your child will develop in both languages in proportion to the amount of exposure he or she receives.

Use Two Languages Simultaneously

If you speak both Mandarin and English – or any two languages – the secret is to use both equally – either alternately or simultaneously. Helping the child to understand that the same concept, action or object can be expressed in two different ways may seem unnecessarily confusing, but compared to the complexity of most of the things they must learn, it is really not particularly difficult.

For bilingual proficiency to take root, all that is required is a truly bilingual environment – so speak both languages equally at home. To help children who speak predominantly one language at home, some preschools in Singapore do offer bilingual curriculum, which move children gradually towards the integration of Mandarin and English in preparation for school. This allows them to gain the advantages of bilingual brain development and develop a valuable skill to take them into life.

Give your Opinions

More Expert Opinions

Child throws tantrums and screams loudly in public

Childhood Behaviour

My 5-year-old son throws tantrums and screams loudly in public whenever he doesn't get his way. What can we do?

See Answer →

by Cheryl Ng
Director of Paper Scissors Stone Montessori Kindergarten

Child is 6 years old, and is still wearing diapers to sleep at night

Children's Health & Development

My child is 6 years old, and is still wearing diapers to sleep at night. We tried waking him at night to pee, but he urinates again after that. What should I do?

See Answer →

by Wendy
Director at Josiah Montessori Preschool

Will piano exams kill child’s interest?

Music for Young Children

I am thinking of signing my child up for piano lessons. But should I let him play purely for fun or should I let him take the exams? Will taking exams kill his interest?

See Answer →

by Joel Chua
Manager at Sonare Music School