Why your kids should learn a foreign language

By Ijeoma Thomas-Odia |   01 February 2020   |   2:12 am  

Getting your kids to learn a new language can be an exciting journey for them. It is never a waste even if they don’t become fluent. Instead, early exposure to foreign languages will make language acquisition easier later in life, when they finally get around to learning a second language in earnest. Even if they never achieve fluency, studies show that exposure to a second language abets cognitive development, boosts abilities in the native tongue and improves academic performance across the board.

Most importantly, learning a foreign language allows children to become adept cross-cultural communicators and more tolerant citizens of the world. We never can tell what loggerheads and disagreements we must have averted if we understand each other’s language and can communicate with one another.

While kids can have fun learning bits and pieces from other languages, there are so many benefits of knowing how to speak another language, other than knowing how to speak them fluently. Here are a few reasons why you should help your kids show interest in a foreign language.

Languages help children develop appreciation for other cultures: We love learning about the world and this is a good way to teach children about countries and the languages they speak. Languages help children develop an appreciation for the world around them, and cultures other than their own. It helps them realise that there is more out there than what we know here.

Knowing more than one language can help children to accept change: Knowing other languages can help your child be more adaptable in different environments. Hence, when kids hear people speaking different languages, it doesn’t affect them in a negative way. It isn’t something different and new, instead, they embrace the change and usually want to learn a few words of the new language.

Even with the basics of a language, you can communicate with someone new: It is always exciting to find people speaking in a language you understand, it gives a sense of belonging and security. Hence, you can imagine the joy and excitement a child feels if he can understand or simply communicate to another in a language they understand. This shows that even with knowing just the basics of a language, it aids the communication process.

You can travel knowing just the basics of a language: You don’t need to be fluent in a language to travel, but it is nice to know a few words to get by. To immerse yourself in the culture and to be able to understand what is going on around you makes the experience so much better. Why not teach our children a few new words when we travel, or even when learning about a new country. You never know, it may just make them want to visit one day.

To learn a language is to learn something new: Learning something new is never wasted, no matter what it is. Kids are naturally intrigued by new things and love to learn. Learning new languages helps children to stay open-minded to learn other things as well. It shows them not be afraid of the unknown, and to try something at least once even they don’t know what it will be like.

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