8 Incredible reasons why kids should be bilingual
Teaching kids another language may seem tedious at first. But after reading the benefits of kids who are bilingual, you'll be encouraged to teach your little ones a foreign language (or two).
Teaching your children how to speak more than one language can benefit them in many ways. From increased brain function to a greater appreciation of culture and the arts, here are eight reasons why kids should be bilingual.
When children are bilingual, their brains are constantly juggling the two languages that they speak. This provides their minds with much-needed exercise without them even trying.
The “brain workout” that understanding two languages provides can prove to be beneficial to your kids in the future as well. It has been said to protect against early onset Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
As their brains juggle the words and context of the two languages that they speak, kids also learn to focus on relevant information and ignore unnecessary distractions. This trains their brains to become more efficient in processing information
This means that they have better cognitive flexibility, which is the ability to switch between two concepts or to think about multiple ideas simultaneously.
A study conducted in Scotland and Sardinia showed that children who are bilingual performed better at problem solving and creative thinking tests than those who only know one language.
In an article on BBC.com, Dr Fraser Lauchlan, who led the study, said, “There was a marked difference in the level of detail and richness in description from the bilingual pupils.”
He cited the bilingual children’s ability to focus on pertinent information as the reason behind their better performance.
Kids should be bilingual from the time they are young because it makes it easier for them to learn new languages as they get older, according to a study from the University of Haifa in Israel.
The reason behind this is that languages reinforce one another. Kids who already speak two languages are more adept at processing sounds and patterns of speech, form, and structure, as well as syntax.
Go to the next page to check out four more reasons why kids should be bilingual.
It is easier for children to interact with people who speak the same languages. Kids should be bilingual to make it possible for them to build stronger social connections.
Schools and communities are becoming more diverse. It is to children’s advantage if they are able to effectively communicate with others.
When kids learn a new language, they also learn a new culture.
When children learn to communicate in a second language, they begin to understand the contextual meaning of words and phrases.
For example, when teaching a child the word adobo, you can also talk about its ingredients, how the recipe can vary depending on where it is made, and even about local customs like fiestas, where the dish is traditionally served.
This also allows you to teach your kids more deeply about their own heritage, as you compare the new culture they are learning with the one that they are growing up in.
Their ability to understand more than one language gives bilingual kids broader access to a diverse selection of literature and arts. From movies and music to books and plays, there are countless forms of art that your kids can learn about and appreciate.
The ability to converse in two languages can render them eligible to study abroad. The skill may also give them the opportunity to work overseas or for multinational corporations.
The chance to travel can also serve as a reason why kids should be bilingual. Conversing and interacting with locals from other countries can make the experience more interesting and meaningful for children.
If you agree that learning a second language is advantageous to your kids, check out these useful tips on how you can start teaching them today.
Do you know any other reasons why kids should be bilingual?