Here Are The Benefits of Teaching Your Children A Second Language
Language learning is fun in itself, and most adults like to learn a language or two as a side hobby. But did you know that a child learning a foreign language helps in their healthy and all-around growth? Children must start learning a foreign language at an early age as our learning abilities start to decline when we become adults. Believe it or not, scientists have already proved that the social and cognitive benefits of early language learning never really go away. If you help your child learn a language, it will actually put your kid at an advantageous position. Whether you know a foreign language or not, you can always help your kid to learn any other language than their mother tongue. To help your kid learn a new language, you don’t need to know that language well. As a parent, you just need to create a learning environment. Here are ways how language learning promotes complete mental and social growth of a child:
It Gives Them A Head Start
Kids who are assisted by their parents and teachers to learn a foreign language before they reach the age of five use Broca’s area (a part of the human brain) to learn a foreign language. It is actually the same part of the human brain that helps people in learning their mother tongue. Child learners are not apprehensive of making mistakes during learning a language. Adults, on the other hand, cannot shake off the fear of making a mistake which is another reason why they learn any new language slower than their younger counterparts. The National Education Association, the largest of all professional interest groups in the US, proved that early language learning helps in the overall cognitive development of a child.
It Helps In All-Round Cognitive Development
The earlier a student starts learning a language, the longer they can devote to learning it. Multilingualism has several cognitive benefits — when a child learns to speak different languages, they get access to different concepts, metaphors, frames, and not to mention, words. In fact, research has proved that when all other factors are taken under consideration, bilinguals come down with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia exactly four and a half years later than people who just speak one language. Also, when a student learns a new language, they get to know a new culture as well, and they can develop a deeper connection with that community when they finally grow up.
It Makes Them Smarter
Multilingualism comes with a whole gamut of positive side effects. Research has already shown that learning a foreign language helps students to score well on standardized tests. When it comes to problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening, the benefits of multilingualism are just incredible. Multilingual kids excel in mathematics, vocabulary, and reading as they tend to remember sequences or lists, probably from learning grammar rules, syntax, and new words and their meanings. They can easily weed out unimportant information and focus on important information only. The cultural pleasure of reading epics and literary classics in the original languages is also unmatched.
It Nurtures Their Cultural Sensitivity And Curiosity
Kids who get to learn foreign languages at an early age often demonstrate positive attitudes toward different cultures which are associated with the languages they learn. As they get introduced to foreign cultures, they learn how to borrow certain metaphors and words to express their unique feelings. Also, it makes them more versatile and flexible, besides leveling up their cultural sensitivity as well as curiosity. This increased awareness of different cultures helps in developing interpersonal skills. When they grow up, they can build meaningful relationships with people from across the world and from all walks of life. They learn how to appreciate different cultural and ethnic values, and they can also discover unique traditions and histories faster than their monolingual counterparts.
Many parents believe that if their kids are exposed to multiple languages and cultures, they will get confused. This is a wrong notion. Kids are naturally inclined to navigate through multicultural environments, and if they acquire a second language at an early age, it will open a whole world of opportunities before them. If you want to introduce your kids to different foreign languages and cultures, you can either take the help of a home tutor or have recourse to the latest technologies. There is plenty of language learning Smartphone apps which are specifically designed for kids.
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