Article Details

Article Details

Why raise children multilingual

Author: Multilingual Families
Publisher: European Commission
Date of Publication: May 2014

Multilingual Families has selected nine reasons why it is a good idea to support your children with more than one language:

  • Creativity - Multilingualism can have a beneficial effect on the development of creative thinking.
  • Open mindedness - Children brought up in a multilingual environment often develop an appreciation for other cultures and acceptance of cultural differences, which is a competence highly sought-after in adults.
  • Flexibility - Knowing more than one language helps children feel at ease in different environments. It creates a natural flexibility and adaptability.
  • Cognitive abilities - Multilingual children display greater cognitive flexibility, better problem solving and higher order thinking skills. The intuitive and natural way of learning languages can spur children on to a deeper and broader passion for learning in general. 
  • Communication - Language learning improves communication skills in general. 
  • Confidence - Allowing children to be what they are – by including their cultural and linguistic background, – helps them develop a natural self-confidence.
  • Broader worldview – Multilingualism encourages new frames of mind and global perspectives.
  • Enrichment - Immigrants not only bring their native language but also the rich cultures of their native land always present in their language. 
  • Diversity - Multilingual children and children of immigrants can represent a bridge to the heritage and history of their different cultures and bring to life new stories and traditions.

A reliable and rich source of information about multilingual education for teachers and parents, including case studies showcasing experiences, examples and best practices on dealing with multilingualism in the home and education. Parents, young people, kindergartens and schools share their experiences, ideas, problems and tips with being multilingual, teaching languages and raising children multilingually.


University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages