This post is by guest author Samidha Raj of PlanetSpark.
It is indeed a small world in modern times. We are all interconnected and interdependent, much more than even just a few years ago. Studying abroad, travel, and other forms of international engagements pose a vital need for learning foreign languages for everyone. It’s never too late to study anything — but the ability of a child to learn can beat any adult any day.
So it’s ideal to have your children begin to learn a foreign language at an early age. Also, there are many advantages of learning a foreign language for kids. Let’s have a look at the top 7!
Multitasking and Focusing
When children are exposed to more than one language, it’s like a workout for their brain. If they want to grasp every word they listen to or read, they need to multitask and focus simultaneously. Over the long run, exposure to multiple languages works wonders — even for the cognitive process of a baby’s brain.
Studies show speaking more than one language improves the ability to multitask and focus. Your child will grow up better prepared for his or her education and the world!
Development of Communication Skills
If your children are proficient in more than one language, it means they can talk to more people and read more books. That expands their horizon of knowledge and meaningful communication. Speaking to someone in their native language provides an edge -- they will be much more likely to have a diverse group of friends.
Also, the communication skills development through learning foreign languages will aid their professional progress in life.
Better Decision Making
You might be surprised that decision-making capability can be an advantage of learning a foreign language. We all know that wrong decisions can be taken when we are emotional. Well, studies have shown that a foreign language can actually feel less emotional to you than your mother tongue. If you think in a foreign language while making decisions, you may well make a more reason-driven decision. Your childrens’ lives will certainly be improved if they learn to be clear-headed and make decisions based on the facts, traits that learning a language can help develop.
Understanding Other Cultures
Children today have such busy schedules with their studies and extracurricular activities. It sometimes becomes challenging to teach them intangible qualities we all value like empathy and affection. Here comes another underrated advantage of learning a foreign language. As they become fluent and learn about the culture behind the language, multilingual kids will better understand the problems and struggles of people from other cultures. They develop a sense of empathy while growing up. It takes them way ahead of their counterparts, giving them a knowledge of global issues that can one day help them become global leaders.
Creative Skills and Innovative Thinking
You might not expect that learning a foreign language can enhance creative skills. But it does! The brain becomes more alert, innovative, and flexible by learning multiple languages. This is because the brain is constantly translating the provided information. This works as stimulation for the brain, enhancing intellectual qualities, including creative skills. And creative skills come hand in hand with problem-solving skills. So you have a complete winner here!
Future Career Prospects
Your children may study hard and earn a reputable degree when they grow up. But to further broaden their career prospects, they should be proficient in more than one language. Businesses are working across countries more than ever today, and companies prefer candidates who can work for them on international platforms.
Your children will get better pay, promotions, and opportunity to work with people from other countries when they grow up.
Undoubtedly, travelling becomes easier if you know the native language. Visiting a country where you or your children can speak to the people who live there will enrich your experience. Your kids will not need to find a travel guide or go through Google for translation every time they talk to someone in a foreign land — think about how proud they will feel! They will return home with a much-enriched experience as they will better understand the society, culture, and way of living in those countries. And even more — they will be prepared for a study abroad experience and to live for a longer period in another country.
Are you not sure about the language you want your kids to learn? Just make a choice, or think about what your child might like! Whatever you do, you shouldn’t delay in providing an opportunity to learn a foreign language to your kids. As you can see, there are so many advantages like connecting with people globally, travelling with ease, getting better career opportunities, and much more.
Samidha Raj works as part of the content marketing team at PlanetSpark, which is based in India and provides a platform for online classes to K-8 learners on speaking and writing skills such as English communication, Public speaking, grammar, creative writing, debating, and more. She is passionate about empowering youth by educating parents about the importance of 21st-century skills. In her free time, you can find her watching documentaries or animated movies and organizing game nights (board games are her thing)!
Featured image courtesy of Gerd Altmann.