Bilingual life – 0-3 years

Expat kids

The development of language for children is a wonderful process that begins in the mother’s abdomen even before birth. When we summarize the development, we find the following curriculum between 0 and 3 years of age:

• Learning the voice melody

• Producing sounds, each language has its own special characteristics

• Speaking and understanding words

• Understanding the structure of communication. For example, looking into the eyes when someone speaks or one speaks and the other listens.

• Learning non-verbal communication. Much of the communication in humans is non-verbal: tone, gestures, body language, etc.

expat kidsFor bilingual children, the challenge is to create this curriculum in different languages.

People who educate bilingual should therefore ensure that the child receives sufficient impulses. According to the standard agreed in the family on how the child is brought up bilingual, it is important that the different languages are to be learned differently.

In this first phase, parents and those responsible for the regular care of children can contribute a great deal to the development of the language. Children are very willing to learn and have all the possibilities to adapt new things.

Personal Communication

Personal communication is important, it is necessary to talk to the baby/child, to be careful to listen to him, to promote it. Actively, parents and caregivers can convey individual words, simple sentences, simple questions. This is achieved through constant communication with the baby and toddler, but also by listening to songs, rhymes or simple stories. It’s the best time to start rituals, read stories, tell stories, sing songs or rhymes. Fabric books and small-format books work very well at this stage, as do the simple electronic word and song games and the puzzles with shapes and colors.


Be patient. Follow routines and help your children. As younger they are as easier it is for them to adapt to other languages (and cultures), of course.

As tip, most of the professionals will advise you: Speak your mother tongue at home. In this way, the child can also develop a close emotional connection to the language of origin and culture of origin.


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