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Can a young child learn more than 2 languages?

Q: My daughter is 2 years old and our mother tongue is Telugu. I would like to know whether we should speak to her in English or Telugu or Tamil. Because I feel if she starts communicating in a language other than English after going to school, she will face difficulty in understanding others. Kindly advise me if a kid can learn more than 2 languages at an early stage.

A:Usually most of the children are capable of picking up 2 or more languages if the exposure to the languages begins early. But it is, to a certain extent, dependant on child's language proficiency too. You can talk to her in your mother tongue initially but if you are residing in another state (e.g. Tamil Nadu) where the only exposure your child will get outside home is Tamil, then you should teach her Tamil. However when children go to school none of them are well versed with English and the primary teachers are aware of that, so don't worry about that.


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