15 months old bilingual child not talking

by Camila

Hi Bridget,

My son is also 15 months old and he he is not saying much. Like the first comment, he says ma, da and babbles and grunts all day but he shows no interest in trying to say any word. We are in a bilingual home and we speak English and Spanish to him. Do you think this is affecting his language? Do you think we should concentrate in one language for now?

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May 02, 2014
Don't Speak Only One Language!
by: Anonymous

Hi Camila -

Great question and quite a common one!

It sounds like your child is actually right on track. By 15 months, a child should be saying about 1-5 words. Also, I'm glad he is babbling and making sounds to communicate needs.

With all that aside, speaking 2 language does not cause speech or language delays/disorders so only speaking one language will not fix it (if there was a disorder to consider).

Many children grow up in bilingual homes. They may acquire language at different rates but that doesn't mean there is a disorder. Actually being bilingual can improve overall language skills compared to monolingual speakers.

So, PLEASE DO NOT only speak one language. Being bilingual is very important for cultural, social, language, and academic reasons.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Additionally, if you are concerned about your child, I recommend a speech language evaluation by an SLP who has experience working with bilingual children.


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Bridget is an ASHA certified, practicing speech-language pathologist. She is passionate about providing parents with information on child speech and language development as well as provide functional, easy activities to do at home! Parents have the power to make a real difference. Follow Bridget at Facebook and Pinterest for more fun!

Author of  child language development eBook series