Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
What advice would you give a parent who would like their child to
be bilingual but whose child's speech is delayed (less than 25
words at 26 months)? Mom speaks mostly in her native language to
the child and her husband speaks to the chid in the primary
language. Speech thaerapy is done in the primary language.
What is the best advice for this family?
1. The speech-language therapist (is that you?) needs to support family bilingualism.
2. I am not sure what you mean by 'primary language'. Is that the child's best language or the community language where you are? It would be best if therapy could be in both languages, or the child's best language. If that's not possible, then therapy in the local language may be all that's possible.
3. Never discourage them from continuing with the two languages.
4. Encourage the mother to use in her language the strategies for therapy that are being used in the other language. Discuss ways she can do this if it is not obvious to her.
Anthea Fraser Gupta
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Re: Delayed speech
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