As a parent, it can be difficult to choose between the range of after-school activities and extracurricular sports for your little ones.
But, if your child doesn’t yet know another language, signing them up for some classes could be beneficial in more ways than one!
From boosting future career prospects to being more culturally aware, here are some of the ways learning another language promotes child development:
Languages Can Boost the Brain
Studies have shown that there are a lot of mental benefits to learning a new language – but especially for a child’s brain and its development.
This is because the act of learning another language requires the brain to make and rearrange new connections, piecing together bits of information to create phrases and sentences.
This, in turn, can have a positive impact on how well your children can focus. After all, if you choose to learn Portuguese or Spanish, and your native tongue is English, your brain will be switching from both languages without you even noticing.
The repetitive nature of language learning can also improve memory, make your children better at multitasking and help them retain information in other subjects.
It Improves Empathy
Another study has shown that bilingual and multilingual children are more tolerant toward other people and communities, and are typically more understanding of them.
The same is also true for those children who are exposed to multiple languages early on in their development.
It’s thought that the reason for this is because during language learning, children are exposed to different customs, cultures, and values.
As their awareness increases, they begin to think about alternative points of view and different ways of life. This, in itself, can be crucial for defining their character later on in life.
It Improves Future Job Prospects
You might not be thinking about your child’s future and their career prospects just yet – but learning another language could help them when the time does come.
Plus, many scientists believe that learning languages is easier the younger we are, so why not give it a try now?
Professional markets are becoming more competitive and, in order for your child to stand out, they may need to have a high-value skill set that includes a combination of communication, listening, leadership, and teamwork abilities.
Increasingly, having international language skills is also being added to this list, as it shows an ability to engage with employers, employees, stakeholders, and customers all over the world.
For this reason, being multilingual could actually result in a higher earning role too – not to mention setting your child apart against the competition.
Demand for multilingual employees has even doubled over the past few years, with employees saying they think this will further increase going forward.
It Boosts Confidence
If your child is able to visit a new place and get the information they need in different situations – thanks to their knowledge of one of the global languages – they’ll be able to communicate all over the world.
This can help them to build and maintain relationships, get involved in activities, discover new opportunities, and likely boost their self-esteem as a result.
After all, the more languages your child knows, the easier they will find it to communicate – wherever they are and whatever situation they’re in.
This alone can provide additional cognitive and social benefits, which are likely to be useful in both personal and professional lives.
Of course, if you do want to sign your child up for language classes, it’s important to remember that every child is different, as are their learning styles.
Take time to find the approach that suits them best, and see how you can help their efforts both inside and outside the classroom.
Learning another language isn’t always easy, and they may occasionally get frustrated with the process, but the benefits of learning a new language will make the effort worth it in the end!