In an increasingly global world, children who grow up learning two or more languages are at a distinct advantage when it comes to school and work. Recent studies have demonstrated that they earn more over their lifetime and that they do better in school. There are also some other, lesser known, advantages to raising children to learn two languages at once.
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Bilingual parents who raise bilingual kids don’t realize that they are giving their children a precious gift that they can pass on to their children. It is easier for younger people to learn a language in the home than it is to learn it in the classroom. Children gain fluency in two languages, whether or not English is their first language. This fluency can be shared across the generations simply by practicing it in the home.
More schools are teaching a second language concurrently with the first than in previous decades. It is not only that younger people tend to learn languages easier. Recent evidence suggests that students who learn two languages tend to have a greater attention span and can multi-task more easily. These two skillsets alone are crucial for success in other areas of learning.
Get it From the Source
Fluency in two or more languages means that your child will not have to rely on translations to discover how other cultures see themselves. In other words, the student can read a foreign newspaper and see for themselves how a culture views itself. They can consume the media of another culture and understand and enjoy it as a native population does.
Curiosity is a Teacher
Likewise, the more you know, the more you want to learn. If students are fluent in the language and thus the culture of another land, they are better prepared to learn more about the other cultures related to a foreign land. When students satisfy this curiosity, they are also learning how to learn. Bilingualism makes this possible.
There many ways for young people to pick up a new language. Whether it’s by learning it in the home, taking a class or an english language summer camp, there are no shortage of options.