How Many Languages Can A Child Learn At The Same Time
We are by no means experts in childhood learning or brain development so we absolutely can’t say if there’s an upper limit on how many languages a child can learn. If you’ve traveled around, or perhaps even live in Europe, most kids seem to be reasonably proficient in at least two languages. Children in Switzerland might know German, Italian, French and English. The Dutch seem to have an uncanny ability to pick up languages a good portion of them speak Dutch, German and French. It seems that most Europeans, especially in big cities are fairly conversant in English.
Generally speaking (pun intended) our idea is that kids today should be able to speak at least one other language more or less fluently. So it’s always been our suggestion to pick one language and stick to it, whether than be French, Italian or Spanish, or whatever else. Needless to say it doesn’t hurt to try and thrown in an extra one, all of the romance languages of Europe are somewhat similar. If you’ve decided that your little one is going to speak French and they seem to pick up the vocabulary and basic sentence structure pretty quickly then there’s no reason not to try and throw in another language, like Spanish or Italian, where the words and phrases aren’t too far off.
How much you really want to try and fill up your childs brain is really up to you. Also, keep in mind that the success of any early childhood second or third language development also depends on how much you as parents are willing to contribute, if you are not a native speaker of that second or third language you really need to make an effort to also learn words and phrases and use them around the house.