The most important aspects to consider are: is your child going to need all these languages on a daily (or at least weekly!) basis? And: do you have enough time to guarantee a regular input in those languages?
Independently on how old the children are, it’s very important to find peers for them who talk the same languages. What exactly are the reasons for children to “have” to acquire more than two or three languages? First there are the languages of their parents or care givers and then the one of their social environment. Adding a fourth, fifth or sixth on a regular basis is often not very natural (and spontaneous) if there is not a social, emotional need.
Parents who want their children to acquire some more languages have to be aware of the fact that not only it is really hard work, but the child will always reach the point of questioning the utility of these languages in his life. Parents need to consider if there is a group of persons (their child likes!) who will talk these languages to their child on a very regular basis. And they have to realize that not all of those languages will be acquired equally. The children will always have one, two or three languages that they “prefer” for several reasons and the other languages will be less dominant.
But the very interesting thing is, that as soon as the linguistic situation changes – for example due to a moving or due to new friends speaking the language – a former receding language can become dominant.
I would like to add another aspect to this question: does the degree of relationship between the languages influence the number of languages a child can/should be exposed to? For example, if the languages are related like French-Italian-Spanish (and other romance languages): does this ease the multilingualism in a child ? And would this make it easier for the child to add other languages, in this example, like German, Dutch, English? Is it easier for a child to acquire many imparented languages ?
This post has been reposted by circletimestudio.com .
- Dispelling Bilingual Myths – Dual language development in early childhood (introduction) (languagesalive.wordpress.com)
- How To Raise a Multilingual Child: MUSTS, BESTS & BOOSTS (melissadaltonbradford.wordpress.com)
- Chapter Four-Lost in Translation? (twoyearsblog.wordpress.com)
- What is the right age for child to learn a second language? (circletimestudio.wordpress.com)
- My multilingual journey (expatsincebirth.com)
- Bilingual siblings and their language preferences (expatsincebirth.com)
- Which language to choose? (expatsincebirth.com)