As I worked with a young English-language learner, she looked at me and said in English, "I enjoy learning English. It's so much more fun than learning Arabic!"
I asked if she remembered learning Arabic, and she said, "Oh, I guess I did not learn Arabic, but was just born knowing it, which is why I love learning English!"
This very cute realization spoken out of innocence by a young child taught me that there are some English-language learners who seem to grasp intuitively the subtle aspects of second-language learning and other phenomena that may affect them as they learn another language.
In working with children who are bilingual or learning a second language, I've been asked many times by parents whether children are confused by learning two languages and whether learning two languages can cause a language delay. The answer is generally no. To answer these questions comprehensively, the myths of bilingualism need to be explored and dismantled.
Bilingualism is a very misunderstood phenomena and one that is surrounded in controversy. Few professionals have the background, knowledge, and training to respond adequately to parents' concerns. Training in second-language acquisition and bilingualism needs to be a top priority for educators, yet only recently has it received the attention it truly deserves.
Training for educators and administrators regarding how to support second-language learners educationally needs to be a top goal of states across the nation in order to address the achievement gap between children who are culturally and linguistically diverse and those who speak English. Speech-language pathologists need to spread the word to make professional development in bilingualism a priority for educators and other professionals.