Before starting to speak two languages, the child must start by learning them!
When parents rave about the first "mama" of their six-month-old baby, it is actually a production of sounds.
These babbles exchanged with their entourage are gradually transformed into words, between 11 and 13 months (age of the first word). Around 2 years old, the child begins to form sentences, and at 3 years, the exchange with the entourage becomes more and more complex.
What is being bilingual?
Being bilingual means understanding and speaking at least in two or more languages. At birth a baby has extraordinary learning abilities. He is able to distinguish and record phonemes (sounds) different from his mother tongue.
However, it is important to know that it is rare for "balanced" bilingualism to develop. Balanced bilingualism means having an equal level of proficiency for both languages. There is usually always one language that dominates the other. In children, it is even totally exceptional to observe the same level of language.
The brain of a bilingual child
The human brain has an area where language is treated, which is called the "Brocca area". When viewed on the MRI, this area "lights up" when you speak. For a bilingual person by birth, this zone turns on in a mixed way regardless of the language spoken.
For people who have acquired a second language later, the area of the first and second languages are separated separately and finally the second language is no longer acquired as a mother tongue but as a learned language. later.
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