These days it’s helpful for everyone to know several languages. But while many study second languages as teens or adults, there are several benefits of learning languages in childhood. Children who are taught or exposed to more than one language at a time benefit cognitively and socially, in addition to having greater opportunities available to them down the road. When teaching children who are just starting to speak, consider some of the following benefits of exposing them to multiple languages.
Learning and picking up another language can be beneficial and rewarding at any stage of life, the process is even better for children who are introduced to foreign languages at a young age. Research has often shown that childhood is the ideal time for the brain to acquire languages, while it is still developing and learning to communicate. Therefore, children who are exposed to multiple languages at this stage can learn them more readily than they might later in life. Growing up learning two languages at once helps children master both of them more quickly and easily.
Learning another language at a young age is useful as it allows children to expand their minds. At a perios already crucial in their cognitive development and best-suited for acquiring new languages, exposing children to multiple languages will increase their learning capacities and make them more accustomed to different kinds of thinking. Even when they are still too young for formal learning or speaking, just hearing and being exposed to a second language will help ready children’s minds for more formal learning later on.
Exposing children to other languages
This has the advantage of broadening kids’ communication skills. Often, getting to know another language can help increase one’s understanding of one’s first language by showing more about how different words and sentence structures work together. Similarly, when children learn two languages at once, both languages can better inform each other. Having this opportunity in early childhood, during the optimal stage for language acquisition, can help children develop their communication skills in both languages more quickly and thoroughly.
Children learning a second language
Learning a second language at a young age can also be a great way to increase cultural sensitivity. Knowing other languages can assist children in recognizing the importance of cultures other than their own and understand that many cultural perspectives exist throughout the world. Additionally, learning both languages simultaneously gets them more used to other perspectives and can support normalization of these other perspectives so that one language is not considered better or more right than the other.
Naturally, being multilingual provides a number of benefits for adulthood; and so, exposing children to other languages simply gives them a head start on having these opportunities and prepares them as they grow older . Being multilingual can make schooling easier, increase job possibilities, allow for travel opportunities, and provide exposure to other cultures. Thus, becoming proficient in other languages earlier on in life amplifies these opportunities and prepares children much earlier.