FAQ: Language development

This page addresses many of the questions raised by parents and teachers about their child’s language development. It covers topics including bilingualism, delayed talking, when it may be necessary to see a speech and language therapist and how to encourage language development. Each question raised has a link to a website with detailed information and advice.

1. I’m worried that my child is late to talk or has some difficulty with language

“Just like walking, potty training, learning to read and every other developmental milestone, there is a wide range of what is considered to be “usual”


2. Can bilingualism harm a child’s language development?

“Some researchers thought that early exposure to two languages put children at a disadvantage. Newer research tells us that this is not so, and there may be advantages to being bilingual”


“This document details and debunks a number of misconceptions that early years staff sometimes have with regard to multilingual language development”



3. How can I tell if my child is getting enough exposure to each language?

Eleven questions along with my answers […] based on my own research on bilingualism over the years, knowledge of the field that I first entered in the early 1970’s, being a bilingual parent, and my own life as a bilingual”



4. Where can I find out more about bilingualism?

Follow the link to view a talk by Prof. Theo Marinis – director of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading- and Prof. Ludovica Serratrice – director of Bilingualism Matters@Reading – talk about research evidence on myths and facts about bilingualism on International Mother Language Day, 21st February 2017, at the Bulmershe Theatre, University of Reading.



5. I think my child may need to see a speech and language therapist. What is the next step?

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) give information on the steps to take if you think your child needs to see a speech and language therapist.


6. What can I do to encourage my child’s language development?

“We discuss how you can encourage progress with your baby and eventually help a toddler learn to talk”







We're recruiting families with 42-48 month old children to take part in our latest language development study in… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

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Which part of rhyme time made the most difference to how you feel? https://t.co/hOURuwTVae