There are many studies that prove learning a second language can be nothing but beneficial to a child. A New York Times article, Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language, states that if mothers are bilingual, their babies can in fact differentiate between the two languages as early as 10 months. Through rhythmic sounds, mouth movement and facial expressions, these bilingual babies learn best through human interaction as opposed to a DVD or CD.
So what if a parent is monolingual and wants his/her child to speak a second language? Some parents wait until their children reach preschool for this learning to take place; some preschools promote themselves as having a second language option for students. There are also foreign language institutes available for children as young as 1 year old. If these aren’t an option for you, check out your park district.
You may also be able to participate in a Spanish or Mandarin storytime at your local library; talk with the teacher and find out how your child could get more involved. Networking with these individuals will guide you to the right resources you need!