For a long time experts believed that bilingualism was a detrimental practice. Now, however, there is more evidence suggesting just the opposite. Here are four of the most important reasons why you should consider having your child learn a second language.
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- Communication and Relationships
Children who grow up with the ability to speak two languages are better communicators than those who do not. For starters, they can speak to more people and are consequently exposed to more knowledge, social experience, and possible relationships; all which deepen understanding and personal connections. Bilingualism leads to versatility, which is key in being an effective communicator and forming meaningful relationships.
- Curiosity and Problem-Solving Skills
Learning a second language helps foster that innate curiosity that toddlers possess. However, the growing and learning does not stop once your child has become fluent in the language. According to research published in the International Journal of Bilingualism, bilingual children outperform those who speak only one language in problem solving skills. These results are linked to mental awareness that bilingual children have as they switch from one language to another.
- Career Opportunities
This one is quite simple; two languages, double the opportunities. Language education is critical for careers in the future. With the population becoming increasingly bilingual, it is vital for kids to learn a second language. Many jobs today in the fields of education, healthcare, social work, tourism, and international business require or at least favor applicants who are bilingual. Speaking two languages can also make you eligible for more study abroad opportunities or internships; it makes you more globally adaptable.
- Cultural Tolerance and Open-mindedness
Finally, but maybe most importantly, learning a second language will grant your kids new perspectives and outlooks on important issues; it will make them more tolerant and accepting and help them see the world from different points of view. Language and culture go hand in hand; they are so intertwined that learning a new language implies learning the culture too! Kids
will therefore be predisposed to new viewpoints, ideas, traditions, and ways of living; all of which result in personal growth.
So, how do you introduce your kids to a new language?
The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Practice the language at home. Gear activities towards learning the language like watching a foreign movie or reading a book. If possible, even take a trip to a place where that is the main language spoken!