Sponge-Brained Toddlers: 4 Major Benefits of Learning a Second Language
Children learn mostly from imitating whatever they see in their environment, but this isn’t the only factor that could shape your child’s development. As it turns out, learning a second language could also be beneficial to children in the long run because it:
- Expands their cognitive capacity
Dr. Olenka Bilash of University of Alberta defines cognitive capacity as the total amount of information that our brain is capable of retaining at any particular moment. Language learning is a good example of a task that requires a hefty cognitive capacity. Young children have the advantage of being… children – they don’t think about the taxes, the mortgage or the baby diapers, and therefore have more space to absorb new information. Expansion of this cognitive capacity in childhood then leads to improved memory and critical thinking.
- Enhances their interpersonal abilities
Humans are social beings and this basic need to interact with other people manifests early on. We always find avenues to build deeper connections with other people and there’s no better way to do that than learning a second language. Learning Spanish for example, allows your child to speak to approximately 420 million people. Learning Chinese opens a gateway to communicating to even more. It opens their mind to new cultures and could even help them forge lasting friendships with people all over the globe.
- Increases career options
There are countless career opportunities for bilingual individuals now more than ever. Many jobs in social work, international business, education, tourism and others favor bilingual candidates. Many companies nowadays have foreign correspondents who speak another language and this skill would be advantageous in an extremely competitive world.
- Fosters love and empathy
“Lost in translation” is a phrase that describes a very common scenario wherein one person says something and the other person take it to mean a totally different thing. It does not only create a gap between the people involved in the conversation, but prevents them from ever seeing eye to eye. It is essential that early on, good communication is taught to kids. To do that, they must first have a good grasp on the language that they use.
This requires more than just learning the grammar and vocabulary. Learning a second language also requires immersing oneself into its culture. This could later on provide a deeper insight into how other people see the world and in the process would shape the way our children think. The more they understand, the more they’ll empathize and appreciate other cultures. Isn’t this the perfect step towards peace?
These are some of the values that we give importance at Noah’s Nook Pre-School and Daycare in El Paso, Texas. We are a childcare center in Texas that prioritizes development, safety, and quality education to the young learners in our center. Children in our care are taught by quality bilingual teachers who can encourage your little ones to learn a second language too!
We want to help your children grow. Inquire today!