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SLT facts and advice for supporting bilingual & multilingual language development

Nov 1, 2021

Advice and strategies from Enable Ireland for parents to support bilingual and multilingual children with communication needs.

Some points contained in the information sheet include:

  • Approximately half of the world’s population are bilingual. According to the most recent census in Ireland in 2016, thirteen per cent of the Irish population speak more than one language.
  • Being bilingual does not affect a child’s speech or language development. Speaking more than one language does not cause language delay or difficulties. However, children who are bilingual/multilingual are as likely to have language difficulties as monolingual children.
  • Children with developmental disabilities (e.g. ASD and Down Syndrome) can develop more than one language (simultaneously or sequentially).
  • Code switching/ mixing languages is a common feature of normal bilingual language development and involves combining vocabulary from two different languages in one utterance. Transferring grammatical rules from one language to the other is also common in bilingual language development.

Find the information on the Enable Ireland website or in the Gaeloideachas library at the following link. Our leabharlann can be searched by theme or by using keywords and contains many other useful resources!