late talking

Late talking and the impact of bilingualism

Dr. Brenda K. Gorman, Contributing Author

A very common question that I receive from speech-language pathologists and parents is whether or not growing up with two languages can cause late-talking. When SLPs say “late-talking,” we are generally referring to children who are producing approximately 50 words or fewer by two years of age. Children with normal language development are generally producing between 200 and 300 words at that age, and of course, they are understanding many more.

Many other professors who specialize in dual-language issues often receive the same inquiry. Therefore, to help address this common question, Dr. Alejandro Brice and I created a short online video relevant to the topic which you can view and share at In this video, I discuss the incidence of late-talking and summarize the research, which, in a nutshell, does not indicate that early bilingual exposure causes late-talking. Finally, I share a memorable experience with one of my own children.

We hope you find the video helpful!