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A 25-year-old female asked:

non-native french speaker here: reading my 5 month-old books in french won't negatively affect or slow her language development will it?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
Bilingualism does: not cause receptive or expressive delays. A typical child may learn one language more rapidly & may mix words from each. Age 0-5 is optimal for learning a language's phonemes, or smallest units of sound, so (s)he can learn incorrect phonemes with prolonged exposure. Mixed/expressive language disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Global Developmental Delays require that one language be taught.
Dr. Sunnie Skiles
Pediatrics 34 years experience
This is a different view from mine. I see only that these children are better than twins, they grow to be able to think in more than one language. I wish I could do this.
Aug 16, 2014
Dr. Eric Weisman
Neurology 36 years experience
As the capacity for semantic language processing seems to be something of an elusive goal in the world of artificial intelligence one wonders how the plastic autistic mind deals with para-linguistic communication when exposed to multiple languages at an early age. I don't think this is well understood. Gesture, tone of voice and body language were not taught to me in 3rd grade French class.....
Aug 16, 2014
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
No: Let me interpret what Dr Fricke wrote. Your baby will be fine and can pick up French easier when offered this early.A little confusion over words is normal. She can actually learn to speak it with the tones and quality of a native French speaker.

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Last updated Nov 27, 2017

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