Starting to learn a language is never too early. Learning another language takes time, effort, and dedication. Learning a new language can immensely benefit children of any age. Research studies support the initiation of bilingual education, especially at the preschool level. Young children can choose a new language and learn it easily, unlike the older children who find it harder comparatively.
Children who learn a second language are good at problem-solving skills. As they grow into adolescence, practicing new language skills can be challenging. But with proper guidance and support, they can learn as many languages as possible because a new language encourages them to adopt new customs and cultural complexities. Languages have the added benefit of fostering empathy and understanding for others. It opens new doors for professional success in a globalized workplace.
Children can learn to speak as many languages as they wish to. The environment they live in can also make a difference. They can start learning in school, at home, or take online classes. The support they get from parents and teachers can help them to pick up the languages easily. Some children know more than one language. Sometimes they are good at one language than the other. Your mother tongue is the language your child knows best.
Over time, the dominant language your child uses can change. For example, a child who speaks Spanish at home will start using English and improve. Speaking one or more languages is never easy, and it takes time. It would be best if you had a lot of training to do this right. Without the right push, your child will have a hard time learning many languages. So to help them pick up the right language for them, you need to be aware of your child’s interest.
Here are six tips for your child to study different languages:
1. Increases compassion and sensitivity
Children in multilingual environments usually have a higher sense of compassion for others. Children with many languages can “enjoy other languages” and enjoy it. Speaking another language cultivates sensitivity and compassion. But you also need to understand the perspective of the other speakers. Children who learn another language will have a more positive attitude toward other cultures.
2. Good for the brain and health
Different languages can help build your brain in different ways. Bilingualisms are said to have more grey matter than monolinguals. The grey matter helps in improving the memory, sensory, and the ability to multiple tasks. It also improves child’s problem-solving skills and analytical thinking. Speaking multiple languages can slow down aging and dementia. Dual language learners improve the executive function of the brain by developing a ‘cognitive reserve.
3. Exposure to people and cultures
The languages which we use are the languages that shape us. Each language has its unique style. Children who are exposed to the languages learn new ways to understand the world. Since language and cultures are intertwined, it gives them a deep insight into how others see the world. They are also culturally aware and are sensitive towards other people. It helps them to experience the world differently.
4. Enhances kid’s Native language skills
Young children are not confused about learning multiple languages. It helps their brain to improve and work on the known languages. The reason parents prefer their kids to learn a new language is to make them talk in their mother tongue. It not only improves the overall communication but also enhances the child’s confidence. It helps them to communicate with their parents and grandparents in their native language. Since children can imitate well, they can pick up the language through sounds. This way, they can master the language quite easily.
5. Higher income
In today’s competitive world, speaking more than one language has become necessary. Bilinguals have the edge over the others when it comes to salary. The demand for bilinguals is increasing, and the shift in income is drastic.
Whether your child is a beginner or a bilingual, your support can go a long way towards their success. Children who exchange between many languages are usually creative and flexible. They are open, aware, and more empathetic towards others. They view the world from a different angle.
Whatever your plans for the future, speaking multiple languages is always an incredibly useful skill. Give your child as many options as possible to help them choose and learn the language. It’s fun, promotes healthy development, and has many intellectual and social achievements that last a lifetime. This is especially true for children.