Two languages, one mind: How bilingual children’s languages influence each other
Freya is a six-year-old girl living in London. She was born there, just like her dad, a lifelong Londoner. Freya’s mum, though, was born and raised in Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. Freya speaks both English and Dutch very well. When her dad picks her up after school, she’ll tell him, in English, what she’s learned that day, and when her mum picks her up, she’ll just as easily recount her adventures in Dutch. Every week, she talks to her Dutch grandma on the phone to tell her all about her new favorite animals, and with her friends, she fluently discusses the latest PAW Patrol episodes in English. Sometimes she uses a few Dutch words when she’s speaking English or vice versa. At breakfast, she may ask her dad: “Can I have more kaas?” (meaning “cheese”). So, even when she’s speaking in just one language, little clues can sometimes show that she is bilingual.