Before we proceed with the facts about being bilingual, let’s take a closer look at the definitions (according to the Cambridge Dictionary).
Bilingualism – the ability to use two languages equally well.
Monolingualism – ability to speak only one language.
Being bilingual is more than just being able to speak another language. It is about being able to speak this language naturally and without an effort. The earlier we start introducing another language to our children, the better for them.
What we know about bilingualism:The main causes for bilingualism:
1. Education and culture – sometimes bilingualism is a choice and parents make a conscious decision that they want their children to speak more than one language.
2. Migration – this is one of the strongest causes of bilingualism: migration of a child’s parents to another country, in the result of which the child learns two languages: one at home, and the other one from the community (this is the most typical situation, described as Minority Language at Home)
3. Geographical – in border areas, it is common that citizens of one country become members of a sociocultural group based in another country.
4. Religion – the spread of religion often makes its new followers learn the language of that religion.