Kazakhstan is a multilingual society. That is why it is important to pinpoint the consequences of multilingual and multicultural impacts on the development of the growing generation in present conditions. I would like to depict some advantages of raising children in a multilingual society which can illustrate a real situation happening now.
To begin with pros of a multilingual society which is brightly described in the website of the Multilingual Children’s Association (USA), I should highlight children’s flexibility and adaptability in different environments which are created naturally and unconsciously in early childhood. In comparison with a monolingual society, children are more self-confident in expressing their ideas in public. Multilingual children appreciate different cultures and have better career perspectives in the future.
Similarly, M. Paradowski from the Institute of Applied Linguistics (GB) asserts that multilingual children and adults frequently think more flexibly than monolinguals. They develop richer vocabulary simultaneously in both languages over the years. “They have a better ear for listening and sharper memories”. Thus, he concludes that speaking foreign languages improves the use of the native language.
In addition to the culture point, children raised in a multilingual society might easily omit the situations of culture clash. “You can understand and appreciate cultural difference and nuances.” (Kruschewsky, 2015). G. Kruschewsky explains that cultures are different and all of them have their peculiar issues which are sometimes hard to perceive. If children are raised in the society in which they socialize with different cultures from early childhood, they have less cultural barriers which usually prevent communication.
Another important issue of a multilingual society is that it should be maintained not only in the family, but also in the society itself. The National center for multilingual education (Norway) made an informational booklet “Children in multilingual families” which addresses the parents’ issues of children’s multilingual development. It is also designed for the educators at kindergartens, school and family health centers. Since the booklet highlights the importance of languages which is closely connected with identity, socialization and culture. “When kindergartens and schools have a positive attitude towards multilingualism, this reinforces children’s multilingualism.” (p. 2).
I would be more than happy if you share your ideas or personal experience about advantages of being raised in a multilingual society.
The Pros and Cons of Raising a Multilingual Child. (2004). In Multilingual Children’s Association. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from http://www.multilingualchildren.org/getting_started/pro_con.html
Paradowski, M.B. (n.d.). The benefits of multilingualism. Retrieved January 31, 2017, from
National Center for multicultural education. (n.d.). Children in multicultural families. Retrieved February 1, 2017, from http://parents.ecml.at/Portals/3/Documents/pdf1934.pdf
Kruschewsky, G. (2015, August 12). Multilingual benefits that you only get if you speak another language. Retrieved February 2, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/02/multilingual-benefits_n_5399980.html