Worried About a Language Barrier? English Language Acquisition in the Internationally Adopted Child

When adopting internationally, many parents worry about the potential for a language barrier with their newly adopted child.  They may wonder how they will communicate and meet their child’s needs without the benefit of a common language.  The truth is that while language delays and communication challenges are common among internationally adopted children, most are able to learn a second language with relative ease.  Between birth and the age of seven is the optimum age range for children to learn a new language, and children who learn English before puberty (around age 10) do not typically retain a noticeable accent from their native language.  Even older children can readily learn English with time, patience and the appropriate opportunities and supports.  Besides age, additional factors that correlate with the ability of children to learn English include cognitive functioning, personality, and the proficiency with which they are already speaking in their native language.  If they are delayed in their native language, it is highly likely that they will also experience challenges and delays with learning English. (Read More)

Tags: International Adoption,Language Barriers
Category: Adoption
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