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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 14:39 PM   1
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Any bilingual toddlers slower to develop speech?

Proud to say my boy has learned a few words! However he is still very slow at it and I'm wondering if anyone else has a bilingual toddler who struggles a bit?

My boy knows:
kitty (kiii-ee) when pointing at one
Simba (our dog's name)
oiseaux (bird in French)
At 23 months

He understands a lot of other words but can't say them

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 14:46 PM   2
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My cousin doesnt say much & he's few days younger than Omar. He goes to an English nursery & his siblings use english most of the time (They are Canadians & ENglish is their 1st language). His mum talks to him in Arabic. He used to point instead of using words. Now he's much better in using words to communicate but they are not clear.

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 14:48 PM   3
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Generally speaking bi-lingual children are slower to speak than single language children. I don't have one but two of my siblings are married to women from different countries and their children have been slower to talk than usual. It's not necessarily by a lot though.

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 15:12 PM   4
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I was expecting Isla to be a bit behind but she's surprised me and is actually very advanced in her speech - she knows loads of English and German words. Her non-bilingual cousin however can say hardly any words at all.

That's great Alex is starting to say some words too now. I rememebr you mentioning before that he wasn't speaking. so well done little guy! Once they start it can be hard to stop them talking.

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 15:26 PM   5
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My friends bilingual toddler is very slow with speech, he's 25 months (ish) and has may be 10 words.
But His understanding is extremely good, he follows commands in English and Dutch and has a really good understanding.

He's also very 'physucal' he's a great walker/climber and has fine gross moter skills

I think as long as they show understanding then the words will follow.

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 15:56 PM   6
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Katerina is bilingual but is saying many many words. Almost everything at the moment in both languages. BUT she only said her first word at 17 months.. then by 19 months she started repeating everything and so now we are where we are. I wouldn't worried really. I know its easier said than done but if he is saying a few words he'll soon start copying everything!

Also, I think the main thing is how much he understands!

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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 16:10 PM   7
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we speak french and English at home ( i am french and my husband is from the usa) Trystan is almost 2.5 years old and just recently start to say many words and sentences and all his alphabet .
Our pediatrician told us to expect to feel that Trystan will not say much first compare to other but generally by the age of 3 or 4 they get ahead and speak both language with no problems !
First i got frustrate to see that the other children were saying more then Trystan but now in the last month or so even every week i notice now that he said more words every day !
Today he started play school and the teacher told me he was speaking French to her the all time ! lol ( she doesnt speak french lol ! )
just be patient

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Old Apr 18th, 2012, 04:57 AM   8
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I worked as a reception teacher in a London school and out of a class of 30, maybe 4 only spoke one language. I had lots of training around biLingual learners and there is research to say that bilingual children often are slightly delayed in their early speech but they are spending that time absorbing both languages and catch up well by 3 or 4. Another common thing is that they may go through a completely silent phase if they start nursery.
I had this with a boy who was completely silent during nursery- his parents were so worried- but during the first term in reception he just started to talk- it was so funny knowing him for so long and then this little voice came out! His speech was fine- in both his languages.

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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 13:37 PM   9
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Hi Aliss and everyone else

My 21 month old girl is being raised in a bilingual family (I'm Swedish, my husband's English and we're living in Sweden). She spoke her first words at about 14 months and does say quite a few words now, in both languages, but seems to be a bit slower than other kids her age.

I have a question for you guys bringing up your kids in two (or more) languages. I've heard that you should really only speak your own language to your child so that they don't get confused, and so that they learn to categorize the different languages etc. But I find it quite difficult in practice - when my husband teaches her numbers in English, for example, and she says them to me, i want to encourage her but if I say them in Swedish back to her, she'll get confused won't she?

Also, when we go to visit family in England, I speak English to her as otherwise I would feel rude as no one else would understand what I was saying.

How do you guys go about this problem??

Sorry to steal the thread, just got excited to see so many "bilingual" people in one place

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Old Apr 28th, 2012, 13:46 PM   10
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I live in a very bilingual area (french/english) and know tons of kids who speak both. I would say most of them were a little later than the unilingual kids at really getting speech going. They stayed at just a few words for longer. But they could follow direction in both languages so it was clear that they were getting it. My friends son is 2.5 and exposed to 3 languages (english/french/swedish) and he has started saying many more words at 2.5years.

I actually wish we had kept up with the french We switched to english only to help Bun (speech delay) but now I wish we had continued. He has very good understanding of language so I think I should have kept it up!

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