Should Language Impaired Bilingual Children Focus on One Language
From Colorado Springs, CO

Ask a Speech Therapist

Rikki DeGrove
By: Sprout Therapy Services,

If your family uses 2 or more languages, and your child is diagnosed with a language impairment, it is natural to worry that learning more than one language may put additional strain on the child. However, research shows that children with language impairments CAN learn a second language.

If a child has a language impairment in his/her first language, then he/she will also have a language impairment in the second language. However, learning a second language does not make the impairment any worse. In fact, discontinuing the child’s primary language in favor of the majority language may make it harder for the child to learn the majority language, as strong foundations in the primary language help with second language acquisition.

Also, preserving a child’s primary language is important for parent-child connections, communication with other family members who may not know the second language, and protecting the child’s links to his/her home culture.