Children learning a second language at an early age has many benefits. Learning a second language is much easier for small children than it is for teens or adults. Here are six benefits to young children learning a foreign language.
Children learning a second language builds problem-solving skills
When you speak multiple languages, it’s like a constant workout for your brain. When children learn to be bilingual, they constantly have to sort through two languages which prepares them to be expert problem solvers. Studies show that learning a second language improves executive function. Executive function includes problem-solving, planning, concentration, and multi-tasking.
Get better test scores later in life
When you look at scores for standardized testing like the American College Test, or ACT, and the SAT verbal section, students who study a second language have improved scores. Their test scores even further improved in correlation with the length of time they have spent learning a second language. This means children with a head start on foreign language learning are preparing to do well later in their school careers.
Early childhood is the best time to learn a language
Children’s brains are like little sponges, soaking up information constantly. They are programmed to learn language skills rapidly until they reach puberty when the parts of the brain responsible for language stop growing. Childhood is also an ideal time to learn a new language because children use simpler sentences and think more concretely, so there is less information to learn right away. Instead, they can naturally absorb words in multiple languages as their vocabulary grows as they age.
Prepare for job skills later in life
With globalization, there’s a growing demand for people who speak multiple languages. Learning foreign languages early gives kids a distinct advantage when they eventually enter the workforce. If they can build fluency in a foreign language, they will have more opportunities to work with global companies later in life.
Connect with other cultures
Bilingual children are able to directly communicate with people in other cultures. Communication opens up a world of possibilities for friendships and travel. Most of the world speaks English as a second language but learning a second language gives children the opportunity to learn more about other cultures in their language and better connect with them.
Prevent age-related illnesses
People who speak multiple languages have a better chance of delaying the effects of age-related illnesses. Studies have shown that speaking a second language may delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease by up to four and a half years.
Your children can learn a foreign language on-site at Sparkles! Crystal City with Little Linguists Arts Academy. English is the third most popular native language in the world. The first two are Mandarin and Spanish. That’s why we offer Spanish or Mandarin options to your children, ages 3-5, as part of this program. For more information contact our Crystal City center.