Why your kid should learn another language
Between classes, sport and socialising, many kids today lead busy childhoods. Yet if there’s one skill that’s always worth finding the time for, it’s learning another language.
Not only does bilingualism brings countless practical benefits for children growing up in a globalised world, research also shows that children who learn another language develop improved cognitive skills.
From improving their job prospects to warding off dementia, here’s a look at the range of benefits that come with learning another language.
There’s no better time
The younger you are the more easily your brain absorbs different languages. Scientifically speaking infants growing up in a multilingual house have the best chance of picking up the nuances of a different language.
However pre-school and primary school aged children still have a significant advantage over adults and teenagers. Incorporating language classes into their routine at a young age will allow them to pick up the invaluable skill much more quickly than if they tried to learn later in life.
Stand out when applying for schools
During the competitive process of applying for schools and universities, having an extra-curricular skill or hobby will help your child stand out from the crowd. Being bilingual is a great way to make your child’s application more memorable and improve their chances of securing a dream placement.
Studies have shown that bilingual people tend to be better at staying focused and ignoring distractions when performing tasks, all skills that a school or university will appreciate in an applicant.
Improve their job prospects
In today’s globalised business environment, speaking another language can open up countless doors and opportunities. Being bilingual is an excellent selling point on your child’s CV and can help them to stand out from the crowd in the competitive career market.
Most top-tier companies today also have offices in most major cities, so speaking another language can create opportunities to work abroad.
Allow them to travel with confidence
Travelling overseas and experiencing new cultures is one of the most fulfilling activities that anyone can undertake. Understanding another language would allow your child to travel more comfortably and embrace different ways of life with ease. Speaking the local language when you travel also lets you meet new people and steer clear of the common tourist traps.
Greater mental resilience
Alongside the long list of practical benefits, scientific studies show the learning another language can go a long way to improving a person’s mental resilience. Science tells us that being bilingual can dramatically improve what’s known as our ‘executive functions’, or the part of our brain that we use for planning and solving problems.
Finally, being bilingual appears to influence the brain from infancy right through to old age. According to a recent study of Spanish-English bilinguals, learning another language brings greater resilience against the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s, proving it truly is a valuable skill for life.