Supporting Bilingual Language Development

A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Lisa Gadsby and I gave a talk at the L’École du Parc nursery school in Clapham on supporting bilingual and multilingual children. More than half the children at L’École du Parc are bilingual, speaking both French and English, and the nursery has some families where as many as four different languages are spoken at home.

The nursery’s parents’ association wanted us to advise on the nature of bilingual development, how it differs from monolingual development and how best to approach teaching children two languages at once. In the talk we explained some of the signs indicating developmental problems to look out for, and advised on which issues should resolve on their own. The talk was aimed at parents, but the teachers who attended also found it very useful.