Haven't posted here in a while.
From everything I've read, bilingualism is not considered a cause of speech delay. If a bilingual child has a speech delay, that child would most likely have had it regardless of being raised monolingual or bilingual. That said...
Ds started using single words fairly early on (around 15 months or so). By the time he was two, he was well able to put together complete, and fairly complex, sentences in both languages. Dd, otoh, didn't start using words until she was over 2 and barely managed 2 word sentences when she was 2.5 years old. The nurses at the well-baby center were somewhat concerned about possible speech delay, but when she was a little over 2.5, she had a sudden language explosion that resulted in her more than catching up with her peers. The really odd thing is that the language explosion occurred at about the same time she started in daycare (and, as a result, had to deal with a 3rd language on a daily basis).
I suspect the very different pathways to language development was related to their personalities: Ds was a very non-physical baby who was content to sit, play and listen for hours and couldn't be bothered to figure out how to walk until he was over 15 months old. Dd, otoh, was very obsessed with physical movement and starting walking (and climbing) when she was about 8 months old. I think ds was just more focused on language at an earlier age than dd.
I'm not sure what the research says but here's my personal experience. I have 3 boys. I speak English (1st language# and American Sign Language #2nd language#. My husband speaks Spanish #1st language# and English #2nd Language#.
My first son was babbling on time but then quit for a while around his 1st b-day. He didn't speak words until 15 or 16 months. Then it was in full sentences and a mix of both spoken languages. He did sign though from about 10 months on. After finally
In my experience children from bilingual families tend to start speaking one language first.
D.L. started babbling at about three months and then got suddenly quiet when she decided to work on physical stuff instead. Now that she's cruising comfortably she's started babbling up a storm again.
I have a friend (another American married to a Dane and raising a bilingual child) and her 3-year-old understands both English and Danish but only speaks Danish currently. That seems to be pretty normal, that they will speak the majority language first and eventually catch up with the minority language later.
Thanks. From what I've read
It was really interesting for me to read about your family, and how different each of your sons was in terms of language learning.
Yep, since I speak only English to my son at home that’s what he picked up first and it’s actually his native language even though we live in another country.
Julian started off speaking Spaglish (heavier on the English) but now he knows who to speak which language to.
Sarah...mommy to Janessa and Julian