There are many benefits from children learning a second language. Even though they may not go onto become fluent, there is growing evidence that early exposure to other languages helps develop greater social, linguistic and general thinking skills.
Some of these benefits are:
- A greater grasp of one’s first language
This includes developing a richer and bigger vocabulary, understanding of context and improved grammar with their first language.
- Experiencing a bigger view of the world
Kids begin to understand the similarities and differences in language, arts, traditions and life experience. They become more open to the rich diversity of human culture across an increasingly connected world.
- Development of more advanced reading skills
Their abilities to apply the insights and experiences of one language to the other as well as their wider experience of language gives kids a big leg up when they start learning to read.
- Young kids can reproduce a natural-sounding, native-like accent
As a child gets older, their brain rewires to enhance skills that are used most and replace ones that are not. This includes the sounds that we are able to reproduce using our voices. This is why it is much harder for older children and adults who learn a language later in life to speak it naturally. Learning a language at a young age helps retain a greater number of sounds in their vocal range.
- It gives growing brains a BOOST
Scientific research shows that exposure to more than one language is an excellent way of flexing those brain muscles – and building them up too. Studies are showing that, by learning a second language from a very young age, the brain develops more neural connections and builds greater density in areas that affect memory, reasoning, planning and creativity!
- It builds confidence
For children, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with their first steps towards a second language can spur them on to a deeper and broader passion for learning in general.