Born to Communicate: Babies Can Learn More Than One Language


These resources are now owned and operated by Child Health BC who is making them freely available to parents, caregivers, families and anyone supporting healthy child development in the early years.

Raising Baby in a Bilingual or Multilingual Family

You may wonder about raising your child with more than one language. Heritage languages are important and sometimes can only be acquired in the home.

This video is the fourth chapter of a series called “Born to Communicate”. It focuses on babies who are surrounded by more than one language and the effects that has on them. Does it cause confusion or delay in language acquisition? (Key messages appear on-screen)

Research Supports Advantages of Multilingualism throughout Life

It’s recommended that you speak to your baby in the language you naturally speak. Babies who are surrounded by multiple languages learn at the same rate as those who experience a single language and multilingual babies don’t get the languages confused. They learn to utilize different strategies and brain structures. Baby sign language does not increase the rate of language development but may enhance the parent-child relationship, which is the most important aspect of learning. American and other Sign Languages, used by people with hearing barriers, are natural languages which do enable full language acquisition through signing.


Dr. Janet Werker, Dr. Karsten Koch