No matter how old a person is, learning languages is a great exercise for the brain. However, kids benefit from this activity the most, even the youngest of them. According to research, starting early bilingual education can help kids in many ways and give them an advantage later in life. Here are just some of the reasons you should teach your kids a second language:
It’s much easier to do it as a child
Kids are like sponges for languages. When they are in their “critical period for language acquisition” they can learn languages very quickly. This ability to learn languages drastically reduces with puberty, so make sure to start teaching your kids while they’re young. By the time they are 7 or 8, most kids can use two languages without any issues and they won’t even notice they learned something very impressive—it’s just easy for them.
It helps the brain solve problems
According to research, bilingual kids are much better problem-solvers and better creative thinkers. Since their brain went through a lot of exercise from a young age, it knows how to deal with challenges. Additionally, kids constantly need to think about when to use which language (subconsciously, of course) which gives them better planning, concentrating and multi-tasking skills.
It allows them to learn their mother tongue better
Previously, people thought that teaching kid a second language would confuse them, but that’s not true. Bilingual kids usually perform better in their mother tongue than their monolingual peers. Why? Well, bilingual kids have more experience with identifying language segments, sounds and patterns. They are also young experts in noticing incorrect use of language. You need to know other languages to truly understand your own.
It leads to better academic success
Every parent wants to see their kids succeed in life, and for most kids, their first success is academic success. Well, one great way to help kids achieve good results is to teach them a foreign language. Bilingual kids usually perform better on tests, especially on verbal sections of tests. If you can help your child learn a second language, you can easily do it at home. Those of you who have good English skills and teaching prowess can even turn teaching into a career.
Some centers like excellent Monkey Tree in Hong Kong even offer good job opportunities to people with teaching and children skills. If you can teach your child a foreign language, why wouldn’t you be able to teach others? You can even get certified and consider having a serious teaching career.
It gives them more academic opportunities
Many schools and colleges love to accept students with knowledge of more than one language. Since the competition is hard, this skill can allow your kid to stand out and get better academic opportunities. Sometimes, knowing a second language can mean the difference between getting into their first choice of school and being forced to take what’s left.
It gives them better accent and language skills
Kids who start their second-language learning early, usually end up with great accents and pronunciation. Kids quickly pick up on sounds that some adult learners might find very difficult to pronounce.
It allows them to communicate with more people
If you have relatives that speak a different language than you, your kids will have an opportunity to communicate and connect with them without any issues. The ability to communicate with a larger number of people is one of the biggest skills you can provide to your child. Their foreign language skills will also allow them to travel easily and experience different cultures.
It gives them a feeling of pleasure
Kids love to learn new skills and discover new things, so learning a language can be very pleasurable for them. Also, when they manage to understand, translate or read in a different language, it will provide them with a great sense of accomplishment and confidence.
It allows them to connect with parents
If you’re bilingual yourself, teaching your kid a second language can be a great way to bond and have fun. Practicing a language is a fun experience that can help you learn a lot about each other and deepen your connection. Plus, it’s an activity that’s cheap, suitable for the entire family and can be done from the comfort of your home (a perfect self-isolation activity).
All in all, learning a second language offers a variety of benefits for kids. It helps their cognitive awareness and development, their communicative skills and their cultural awareness. So, start teaching your kid today and provide them with plenty of advantages in the future.