Why is it Important to Teach New Languages to Your Child?

2 year(s) ago
Why is it Important to Teach New Languages to Your Child?

When I was in college I took up to learn German.  It was just in a matter of two years that I quit as it was tough was an understatement! Moreover, as a student of psychology, I thought all my language development neurons have pruned, so it's too herculean a task to learn a language now! Chapter ended!

As a young mother, I decided to use the window period of language learning and introduced a foreign language to my little daughters. Thus, began our lessons…

My kiddos would hear me out sing along, and experimented with the new words for a while but soon the initial enthusiasm began to extinguish. They would insist that I speak in our mother tongue and our lessons slowly faded out!

Conclusion: teaching a child another language is not easy. It is tough, then why in the world do it? This is exactly what I am going to talk about today. Why introducing more that one language to our child must be our priority?

Cognitive Benefits

In one study published in the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, it was found that speaking a second language may delay the onset of dementia. The scientists examined almost 650 dementia patients and assessed when each one had been diagnosed with the condition. They found people who spoke two or more languages experienced a later onset as compared to patients who spoke just one language.

The researchers suggested bilingual switching between different sounds, words, concepts, grammatical structures and social norms constituted a form of natural brain training. This was likely to be more effective than any artificial brain training programme.

Secondly, it also studied that bilinguals are better at focusing on relevant information and ignoring the distractions. They display increased concentration than their monolingual counterparts. This also means that bilinguals would learn better in a noisy classroom than their monolingual counterparts!

Moreover, because bilinguals or multilingual are able to switch between languages they are able to develop more flexible approaches to abstract thinking and problem-solving.

Another interesting study showed that we are better at making decisions when we are thinking in a foreign language as against when we are thinking in our mother tongue.

So learning more than one language, beginning at an early age can actually be a lifetime gift to your baby!

What is the Advantage? - Life Skills

We are preparing our children for a future that is going to be a global village. The ability to converse and connect in different languages then becomes an essential requisite.

Hence, learning two languages early in life makes it easier to acquire more later on. So if you want your child to converse in many languages in his adult life, start with teaching him second language now.

Moreover, knowing two or more languages opens the doors to the information presented in all of them: professional information, literature in the original language, online resources, and cultural heritage.

A better understanding of another culture comes with knowing the language of that culture. Children raised bilingual are more likely to show tolerance for other cultures at a young age. They will play more easily with children who do not speak their language or who come from different socio-economic backgrounds.

Finally, a second language can mean more opportunities to be a part of the global community. Globalization has brought a lot of changes and new work positions into the market. Although English is the primary language of business and commerce in the world, the demand for multilingual professionals is steadily increasing.

To conclude, it is not that your child's ability to converse in more than one language will guarantee his happiness and success. But this will definitely give him a powerful advantage in terms of cognitive and social development.

So I still haven't given up my occasional lessons in German which now are in the form of songs and movies with my daughters who are now into their pre-teen.

As the saying goes: Good things never come easy!

Click on the link http://bit.ly/AppystorePhonics to watch a phonics video for your child.

Click here to download the AppyStore app http://bit.ly/-DownloadApp

AppyStore provides videos and worksheets for kids up to 8 years, curated by child development experts.

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Author
Renu Nargunde
Renu is a Psychologist, Counsellor and a Trainer with expertise in designing programs for educational institutions. She has completed her Masters in Guidance and counseling Psychology and has been in the field of education and counseling for more than fifteen years. Active with instituting development programs in schools she has worked closely with Principals, teachers and parent population from diverse backgrounds. She is a certified trainer for the British Councils Core skills program. She has conducted several workshops for adults and children in the areas of Lateral thinking, Brain gym, building emotional intelligence, psychometric assessment, multiple intelligences, learning styles and developing leadership skills . A mother of two daughters, she prefers to spend her free time with her daughters reading, playing badminton and supporting them in their endeavors, socializing with friends through activities like trekking and travelling activities that interest her.

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