Are you looking for a way to improve your child’s life in a fun and creative way? If so, have you thought about teaching your child a second language? It may have crossed your mind, and you are wondering what the benefits could be. There are multiple studies that show how this can improve children’s social, academic, and development skills in ways you have probably never thought of. Here are the top 10 reasons why your child should start learning a second language today.
1) Innate Acquisition of the Language
Till 8 years old, a child is at his/her prime time to learn a whole range of skills. One of those skills includes learning a language. According to the University of Washington Institute, a child’s brain development from as early as a few months to three-years-old is optimal for learning language. Your child’s brain at that age frame is described as a “sponge”, meaning he/she can easily absorb information at a higher rate compared to an older age. Also, you can fill in your child’s time by incorporating games and activities that have to do with studying a new language. The reason being, there won’t be any distractions of playing with toys or video games. It’s much easier to introduce workbooks, tapes, and index cards because your child will find it fun!
2) Improving Their Development
There are multiple studies and research done that show how becoming bilingual can improve your child’s development, more specifically, their cognitive learning skills. Bilingual children have shown higher levels of problem-solving skills and creativity. You may believe that the skillset stops there. However, research has also shown that it can improve a child’s verbal skills as well. If you are already incorporating a second language at home, your child is well on his/her way to guaranteed success.
3) Gaining More Self-Confidence
Can your child really become more confident through language? Definitely so. Children love the feeling they get when they learn something new. More importantly, they enjoy the recognition or proud look you give them when they have made an achievement. Learning a new language can lead them to be enthusiastic about learning other areas as well! To help build up that confidence, you could encourage your child and let him/her feel that the process of being immersed in a language can be fun. Reward them for learning new vocabulary words or when they successfully understood a sentence in Spanish. It will allow them to want to discover the language even more.
4) Becoming More Worldly
Introducing your child to a language can lead them to learning about more culture. It is important to have children learn from a young age that there are other people of different cultures, backgrounds and languages (and their culture) who should be celebrated. It will help them see that the world is not so small; there are plenty of people you can meet that do not necessarily look or act like the grown-ups they are familiar with. You can have them experience new food, music, and neighborhoods just by having them immerse themselves in learning a new language. Perhaps it will inspire them to take a trip to France or Japan one day.
5) Making More Friends
Once your little one learns how to carry a conversation in another language, he/she can talk to people beyond their social circle. Maybe they will talk to a classmate who they could not talk to before. Or perhaps, as they get older, it will allow them to converse with many more people through work, college, and/or any social setting. It will help your growing child expand his/her way of making new friends. Who knows, it could also lead them to making friends in other countries as well. There will not be a language barrier that will stop them from experiencing other people from other cultures.
6) Closer Family Bonds
Perhaps you may believe that most of the time spent with your child will be focused on language practice. However, did you consider that this could be a bonding experience? Whether you are teaching them their heritage language or a career-making language, this is a perfect opportunity to spend one-on-one time with your child. With classes, such as baby and me classes or family language classes, you will be incorporating both play and learning at the same time. You may even be learning along with them. Moreover, this can (also) be a chance for the whole family to learn together. Did you want to include their other siblings? Perhaps they can help along the teaching process and guide their younger sibling.
7) Improving Their Native Language
Mastering a second language can help improve their English skills as well. According to the University of Washington Institute, bilingual children showed higher levels of English comprehension compared to children who were monolingual. When learning a romance language such as Italian or Spanish, you will discover that your child will be exposed to more grammar practice. When compared to English, grammar rules are not heavily focused and therefore much easier to forget as we get older. By grasping a second language, a better understanding for English grammar will improve significantly.
8) Performing Better In School
Generally, studies have shown that children who knew a second language performed better in school than students who did not. Those who were bilingual have strong skills in English, particularly in reading and writing skills. How so? By speaking and reading a second language, it helps children pay closer attention to word structure. They also need to have a strong sense of memorizing vocabulary, which in turn develops stronger spelling skills. Research has also shown that the discipline of learning a second language helps with a child’s behavioral skills. In other words, they are less likely to have behavioral problems in a classroom setting.
9) Higher Test Scores
While your child continues to excel in his/her school studies, the benefits of learning a second language also helps in standardized testing. The College Entrance Examination Board released studies that show those who were bilingual significantly higher on the verbal section than those who were monolingual. Besides specific sections, those who studied a foreign language scored an overall high SAT score than students who did not. Not thinking that far ahead? 3rd to 5th graders who are bilingual and took standardized state testing had high scores in all language arts sections.
10) More Job Opportunities
Just like many parents, you are hoping to help your child develop skills that will help his/her future. If your child lists a second language as a skill on their resume, he/she will be well prepared for the workforce. Many jobs are interested in hiring candidates who are bilingual. Or that they have an intermediate skillset in a language. This will especially help your children who want to enter the business, medical, law, education, or administration field in future. It is a skill that will bring your child to places you would not normally think of.
There are numerous reasons how a second language can enrich your child’s life. Not only academically, but even socially as he/she continues to grow older. Perhaps you will help them discover a whole new world of opportunity. Or lead them to going to new places, meet new people, and a greater chance of success. You will never know what this could lead to in the future. Tribeca Language offers a variety of classes, of over 13 languages to choose from! Whether you decide to pick up a private lesson or class environment, this is a fun and strategic choice to make for your child’s development and success.
Check out our online children’s group classes here and private classes here.
Alessandra Lanno considers herself both an avid reader and writer. Born and raised in