Benefits of an Early Bilingual Education
Arguably the best way to raise a bilingual child is to expose them to the second language as soon as possible. According to a recent TED talk by Patricia Kuhl, Ph.D., the co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, the earlier the exposure, the easier it becomes to pick up a second language.
Even if you cannot speak the second language yourself, exposing your children to it at an early age will help instill a native or at least near-native pronunciation of that language. It will be challenging at first, but that is part of the fun of having your kids learn a second language and become bilingual.
The most obvious benefit is that your child will be able to learn a second language more quickly. There are other benefits as well.
Improved Brain Power: Learning a second language early in life helps stimulate the brain to expand cognitive abilities. From having them listen or watch programs spoken in another language to singing songs, reading books, or even having someone who speaks a second language talk to your children.
Of course, if you can get a tutor who is fluent in a second language. Preferably one who speaks natively, can help enhance your child's cognitive learning skills.
Better Reading Skills: One aspect of learning a new language is a better appreciation for reading. This means that literacy skills are improved, which may have powerful benefits in terms of reading comprehension, improving scores on tests, and the like. Students who learned a second language scored better on SAT entrance exams on average compared to students who only knew a single language.
In other words, learning a second language early on builds up reading and comprehension skills that can be quite useful later in life.
Appreciating Different Cultures: Children exposed to a new language at an early age develop a greater appreciation for the culture where it came from. This means an increased interest in the different nations, cultures, and peoples worldwide. The result is that children grow to appreciate a new culture, but they are more eager to learn even more languages to help expand their knowledge of the world.
Global Reach: As our world grows smaller every day, the ability to learn new languages is becoming even more critical. This is especially true in commerce as products come from different parts of the globe. At some point in the future, it may be expected that being at least bilingual will be recommended to succeed.
The earlier you start your child on the path towards learning a new language, the more they will grow. Both in terms of doubling the number of languages in which they speak. But also in expanding their cognitive abilities. Learning a new language opens a doorway where your child will grow and appreciate the world around them.
AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self-service or concierge service. Our concierge service can help busy families who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or download our app.