Growing Up Bilingual – It Has It’s Benefits
By Kelly O. on Did You Know?
There is never a wrong time to learn a second language. However, there is an optimal time. The human brain retains information the easiest between the ages of two and eight, making those early years the most opportune time to become fluent in two languages (Interdependent). Developing a bilingual tongue at an early age is a skill that will be used throughout life. Here are three reasons how learning a second language at a young age helps children in the grand scheme of life:
- Disciplined Attention Span
It is hard to imagine a five year old being able to focus on one task without being distracted. However, studies show that bilingual children have a disciplined attention span throughout their life vs. children who do not speak another language. Skills develop quicker in bilingual children due to the fact that the brain has to distinguish the appropriate time to use one language over another. Distinguishing similarities and differences between two languages is what a child’s brain has to focus on keeping separate from one another, ultimately creating a disciplined attention span.
- Cultural Enrichment
By being immersed in a second language, it opens more doors to travel and the development of relationships to come. Children that can communicate in various languages have opportunities to learn culture, giving a firsthand perspective in ethnology. Traveling strengthens the knowledge of the language allowing for conversation with locals that would not have been feasible otherwise. Being able to speak in the native tongue throughout traveling adds additional cultural awareness as well. Becoming bilingual at an early age teaches children to be respectable about other cultures surrounding them (via Tessa International School).
- Enhances Creativity and Problem-Solving Skills
Students fluent in two or more languages develop an alertness within the brain, in turn triggering a significantly different way of thinking than a student who speaks just one language. A study found that bilingual children were “significantly more successful” than their monolingual peers in problem-solving and creativity tasks. Another study found that people who speak more than one language can process information more efficiently and easily (FluentU). Fluency in a second language allows for children to have control of their thinking in different ways than monolingual children.
Learning a second language during the prime developmental period in a child’s life can only enhance their future. It leaves prospective opportunities that may not have been available without being bilingual. Tessa International School located in Hoboken, N.J., can provide these skills to your child.
Image via Education International