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Two Languages Develop simultaneously but independently in Bilingual Children

A new study conducted on Spanish-English bilingual children finds that when children learn two different languages from birth, each language takes its own independent course. The research has already been published in the journal ‘Development Science’ by researchers at the Florida Atlantic University.

To add more to the research, the study further finds that a child’s Spanish skills become vulnerable as children’s English skills develop. Apparently, the child’s English skills are not vulnerable for being taken over by Spanish. Researchers also found evidence to the fact that as the children developed stronger skills in English, their rates of Spanish growth dropped down.

To explain this, the researchers have explored a number of possibilities. The initial thought was that there might be something internal to the child that leads to vocabulary and grammar development on the same time table. But the final output that showed up was that there must be an external factor that drives both grammar and vocabulary development. The data collected was consistent and accurate only with the final possibility. Thus, the rate of development of grammar and vocabulary are a function of an external factor that exerts separate influences on growth in both languages.


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