Parents want to provide their children every advantage they can to prepare them for their future. One of the best ways to do this is to teach them to learn a language other than their mother tongue.The benefits of bilingualism go beyond academics. In fact, a bilingual child possesses an advantage in different aspects of life.
The value of learning a second language
There is a growing interest in the effects of developing bilingualism. Hence, further studies are being done to back-up the potential advantages it brings to both children and adults. Among these benefits are:
Bilingualism affects the brain positively
- A bilingual child has a better attention span.
- Children who are bilingual have the natural ability to multi-task.
- Multi-tasking skills develop due to their brain’s adaptation in switching between two languages.
- The mental exercise helps them later in life, as it delays the onset of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s
Bilingualism promotes open-mindedness
- In addition to the educational advantage offered by bilingualism, a child who speaks a second language tends to have a broader perspective of the world.
- Hence, they are open to experiencing new things, activities, meet new people and even accept change.
A possible disadvantage of learning a second language
Despite its known benefits, arguments against bilingualism persist. In most cases, the cons point to myths already disproven by various studies on the subject.
However, the additional effort required of parents to develop their child’s bilingualism is linked to some of these reasons:
- Learning a second language or more requires the child’s commitment to being able to speak two or more languages fluently and proficiently.
- Parents need to be an active part of a child’s learning process by:
- Establishing language rules for consistent implementation.
- Offering constant encouragement at the start of a child’s learning process, especially when they feel awkward in speaking a new language.
- Engage a child to practice what they know.
Parents should be aware of the possible advantages and disadvantages of teaching new languages to their children. This will help manage their expectations and maximize the advantages of bilingualism. If you find you’re having problems teaching more than one language there are bilingual schools like https://www.bilingualschoolparis.com/en/ that can offer guidance and help.
In a globalization context, knowing several languages is mandatory. This is essential for his professional career, but also for his personal life. Indeed, it allows to communicate with the locals and therefore better understand them. Traveling is not just about going to a hotel or going on excursions, it’s about communicating with locals to understand the subtleties of a culture and a country. Concerning the professional world, you must know at least 2 other languages than your mother tongue. Indeed, in order to communicate with its customers, partners and suppliers, it is necessary to master at least English and, if possible, Spanish. Regarding languages that do not have our alphabet, it is better to have a few notions at least.