December 10, 2022
5 Benefits of Teaching Kids a Second Language
As I review the year and my learners’ progress, I am aware that learning a language is so much more than communication so here are some proven benefits to teaching kids a second language.
As I review the year and the progress my learners have made, I am aware that learning a language is so much more than communication so here are some proven benefits to teaching kids a second language.
When a child is in their early years their brain is primed to acquire new languages, so it is the perfect time to adopt more than one. Studies that follow kids exposed to multiple languages into adulthood have identified many core advantages.
Adults find it challenging to learn a second language because it can be difficult to retrain their brains and acquire a new language with a natural ability, but that’s not the case with children. Children’s brains are more plastic, and they have a more curious attitude toward language.
Children make progress faster with a language, and that gives them the confidence they need to take their learning further. Children that learn a language early on are more likely to develop fluency and become confident second language speakers in their adult and professional years.
In order to acquire knowledge for themselves and begin to make sense of the world, a child needs to be able to read and consume various written literature, however, reading isn’t only about understanding words and their meaning in the contact of a sentence; it is also about word interpretation and structure.
Learning a second language at a young age gives a child the opportunity to understand language and reading in a more complex and nuanced way which supports reading abilities in their own language. If English is their second language, it could be of use to work with an English Tutor for support.
The brain has two hemispheres, the left side and the right side, the left side of the brain is responsible for reading, writing, and problem-solving, while the right side of the brain is needed for creativity, emotions, and imagination.
Learning a language activates both sides of the brain improving creativity and problem-solving capabilities. They learn early on that there are several ways to do something and to try creative avenues to solve problems.
I am a fan of starting a language at ANY age but it is definitely true that early exposure to the phonemes that make up the language helps with overall pronunciation. Studies show that babies are even picking up on accents in the womb!
You can always train yourself to improve your accent but an early start on languages certainly helps!
Children with a second language are more culturally aware of the world. The language contains meaning and interpretations of objects and concepts that help to improve the child’s understanding of things as they develop. Speaking a second language also gives the child an opportunity to travel, visit historical and cultural locations, and meet people. It lowers barriers to cultural transmission.
Overall, languages should be a pleasure for your child but you can expose them to quality language tuition safe in the knowledge that they are acquiring a whole set of new skills in addition to the language itself.