I often overhear my son, Nathan saying this to my mum in Cantonese “我喜歡吃 watermelon” (“I like to eat watermelon”). My mum has often commented to me, “He says a bit in English and a bit in Cantonese.”
Have you heard people say this about their bilingual children or even said it about your own? The child is switching back and forth between languages in a conversation, often even mid-sentence.
It is often misunderstood as the child being ‘confused’ or that they are not proficient in either language however this is not the case. In fact, this is a typical characteristic of a bilingual user allowing them to draw on the resources of both bilingual codes at once (Palmer, 2009).
Continue reading “Should my bilingual child be switching between languages?”