Learning a foreign language at an early age can bring tremendous benefits to children as it adds a new dimension to their personalities and paves way for numerous benefits to their careers in the future. Moreover, it also helps in keeping the brain healthy, active, and more receptive to learning in general.
When kids of 5 years of age and lesser come to us, we only give their parents a pat on the back for the move! Want to know why? Read on to know why learning a foreign language at an early age has unparalleled benefits.
Why should kids learn a foreign language at an early age?
1. The learning power is at its best in the early years
A Stanford research concluded that second-language proficiency declines with increasing age of initial exposure. It’s because the brain is very malleable in the younger years. It is much more receptive to learning a foreign language in the first 5 years which are the language-learning years for a kid.
You might want to believe that a kid can learn only one language at a time and that introducing a foreign language might hamper it. The reverse is in fact true and we’ll tell you more about it in the very next section.
2. It improves their command over the first language
Learning a foreign language is known to better the command over the first language. For example, if your child’s first language is English, their verbal skills in it will improve if they learn a foreign language early on. This is a direct result of them analyzing structures and vocabulary in English much better when they use it to learn a foreign language systematically.
Linguistic studies show that kids get better in their native or first language as they find grammatical correspondences with the foreign language.
3. It increases cognitive abilities
Learning a foreign language is known to sharpen the mind and boost memory. While the benefits hold true for people of all ages, they are much more pronounced in the case of kids.
The kids who learn a foreign language early on in life have better intellectual and academic abilities. This is because their brains are much more expanded to remember two languages and the corresponding vocabulary, grammar rules, idioms, slang, etc.
4. A foreign language is a great addition to their skillset
Kids who are proficient in a foreign language usually have better chances and opportunities at college admissions and jobs. It is a skill set valued hugely by the corporates today, for the world is a melting pot! And in the US, for example, being able to converse in Chinese or Spanish could be a great advantage. Imagine being able to connect with so many people with just the knowledge of their language. This automatically would open up better networking and hence better work opportunities.
Above all, just imagine your child being able to write in a college admission cover letter that they are proficient in 2 more languages apart from English. It not only opens up areas like studying subjects like French Literature, Spanish History or Chinese Arts but simply adds an unmissable, impressive layer to the application. From better chances of converting an ivy league college to securing a position in their dream company, a foreign language can come in handy always!
5. It expands their range of experiences in life
Knowing a foreign language is great for expanding the range of experiences in life. Your kids will be able to consume entertainment content in that language. They will also be able to absorb culture and folklore better when they travel to the countries where that language would be spoken natively. And above all, your kids will be able to connect with native speakers of that language much better at work and would have broader learning opportunities.
Which foreign language should your kid(s) learn?
Mandarin is a top choice for many kids in the States today. It is mostly because of the growing economy and the large pool of speakers (~1 Billion). Spanish and French are still great choices and remain an old favorite among language learners. These languages are a bit easier for English speakers to pick up and remain one of the most widely spoken languages. If your child wishes to work in a European nation, learning these languages could be a great added advantage.
Apart from these popular choices, your child can also choose to learn languages like Bhasa, Czech, Dutch, etc. From pure fascination to strict requirements for work or study, whatever your reasons may be, just remember a foreign language is always a big plus!
If you ask us top recommendations, these are the languages in high demand (worldwide):
- Mandarin Chinese
How to get your kid started with learning a foreign language?
Well begun is half done! This maxim is very true when it comes to foreign language learning. One of the fastest ways to get your child started with learning a foreign language is to get them the right guidance. It is important to instate this guidance from the beginning so that burnout and consequent drop off from learning a foreign language are eliminated.
Hiring a private tutor for French, for example, can make your child grasp the language faster than any free app. This is because of many intuitive reasons. A private French tutor will bring in professional expertise, teaching experience, and a structured curriculum. A tutor will also bring in the added bonus of discipline and a customized learning plan. While all the websites and apps offering free courses in foreign languages have a standard offering, a private tutor can work as per your child’s learning needs, speed and inclination.
Interested, but don’t know where to look for a private tutor? Talentnook has got you covered! Visit Talentnook.com and connect with hundreds and thousands of private tutors. We are committed to finding your child the best learning help to unlock their full potential. At Talentnook, from study pods to writing help to piano lessons – there’s nothing you won’t find a qualified, experienced tutor for.
You can opt for free demo lessons, sift through tutor profiles and shortlist based on your qualification criteria, budget, etc. and do much more! And what’s the best part? All of it is just a click away, just click here and take your child’s learning to the next level! Explore our blog for more informative articles with tonnes of quick, actionable tips for students and parents.
Also explore PALO Coaching – Foster life skills, academic & social-emotional skills in your child. Help them thrive – both in school & life!