Do Bilingual Children Have Academic Problems Once They Start School?
A common myth around bilingualism is that bilingual children will face academic problems when they start school. It is not fully correct. It depends on the age of the child and also the school setting. For example, for an older child who has been speaking their mother language since childhood and just got admitted to a school in a foreign country, it might be difficult to understand and process all the information in the class. This is not due to bilingualism. That child only knew one language, for example, Bengali, and now facing a completely different language, say English. It could be better served to get instruction in the language they know while they’re learning English.
However, for younger children, being bilingual actually helps in their academic careers. Research shows many academic advantages of bilingualism, including superior problem-solving, multitasking skills, and increased cognitive flexibility. Children who are being exposed to multiple languages from their childhood, are more comfortable in problem-solving, doing works that require multitasking. Kids thrive when they are in a bilingual academic setting — giving them a future advantage over monolingual children. Bilingualism is an asset in post-secondary applications and for career development.
Dear Prodigy has been continuously working to develop materials to help kids learn Bengali in a fun way. So far, we have designed a Bengali Alphabet Board Book that reflects Bengali culture, tradition, and heritage. You can check out the book reviews at Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1737016605] or on our Facebook page [https://www.facebook.com/dearprodigy].
We also designed a beautiful Bengali Alphabet Poster for kids and also for adults. It can be put in the nursery room as well as in your living room. We will not shy away from saying it’s a piece of Bengali Art.
- Marian V, Shook A, Schroeder SR. Bilingual Two-Way Immersion Programs Benefit Academic Achievement. Biling Res J. 2013;36(2):10.1080/15235882.2013.818075. doi:10.1080/15235882.2013.818075
- Bialystok, Ellen. “Reshaping the mind: the benefits of bilingualism.” Canadian journal of experimental psychology = Revue canadienne de psychologie experimentale vol. 65,4 (2011): 229-35. doi:10.1037/a0025406. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4341987/