Early language learning gives to children more than one can think of. And much more than one can measure! Even scientists sometimes find it hard to find evidence, because our mind is so complex and linked to many external factors that finding correlations between the effectiveness and the knowledge of foreign languages is sometimes a real challenge. However, the studies addressing benefits of bilingual and multilingual children are numerous. With no doubt your child will have many benefits from early language learning and eventually he/she will benefit from their knowledge as well. Advantages of earl language learning begin at the cellular level in our brains. Creating new neuron links is stimulated by early language learning. Below are the 10 benefits of children and people who know more languages.
1. Bigger BRAIN
Yes, it’s true. Even though it seems incredible, the brain of bilingual and multilingual children is bigger and heavier thanks to the greater number of connections between the nerve cells. As a result, they have greater potential for some brain functions and are more successful in many fields.
2. UNDERSTANDING OF THE MOTHER-TONGUE
The child will understand immediately that one language is ahead of all other. This is the language in which the child learned to speak. The language in which it thinks. The language a child know better. Learning and understanding a foreign language gives the child a new perspective on the mother tongue. The child will find out that he/she can express himself differently in his mother tongue and it will learn the structure of mother tongue.
3. BEING BETTER AT EDUCATION
Your child will fit in easier at school and educational system. Scientific research shows that bilingual and multilingual children get better results on the tests that require: multitasking, problem solving, and creative thinking. Compared to monolingual children, they also get better results in cognitive tests. Why? Thanks to language switching, their brain synapses are more developed than in their monolingual peers.
4. BETTER MEMORY and STUDY ABROAD
Your child will find it easier to go to study abroad if he/she feels comfortable in expressing itself in a foreign language. Some schools and programs require the knowledge of foreign languages already at the time of signing up. In addition, better memory allows faster learning!
5. EMPLOYMENT (OF YOUTH)
Knowing more languages definitely brings more employment opportunities. This especially applies when looking for a first employment and getting first working experience. Aside form that, it appears that globalization will encourage employers to seek for multilingual workforce.
6. BETTER IN COMMUNICATION
Multilingual children are often more open in communication. Speaking in a foreign language does not feel as strange or hard as to monolingual peers. If your child learns foreign language it will be more likely to communicate with family abroad with tourists and with people when you take a trip or vacation … our son finds himself new friends every summer, and most of them do not speak his mother tongue.
7. LEARNING NEW LANGUAGES
More languages you know, it’s easier to learn a new one. This applies even more when learning a similar language. For instance I learned Spanish very fast because I was already proficient in Italian. I started by taking a summer language course and immediately realized that i already understand most of it. It was simple because Italian and Spanish have both most words from Latin language. And I did have a year of Latin in my gymnasium. Also grammar of Spanish and Italian is quite similar. At least the principles are.
8. CULTURAL RECEPTIVENESS
Each language has it’s own culture. The culture of the people that speak that language. The culture reflecting itself in the literature, in the music, in the food, in relationships, in working habits … When children learn a foreign language they also learn the way life goes on in the place this language lives. That way children become more open for difference and are more likely to accept themselves as well as others. They become more likely to adapt to new environments, new people and new situations.
9. PERSPECTIVE ON THE WORLD
A seven years old Oskar speaks Slovenian language (mother tongue) he understands almost everything in English and can express himself in English (1. foreign language), he understands Serbian language (2. foreign language), he recognizes Italian language (3. foreign language). Oskar already understand that in this world there are people that speak and understand different languages and that they perceive the world differently from each other.
10. HOLIDAYS ABROAD
Your child will feel better abroad if he/she can communicate with people on it’s own. Also understanding the language of the environment is crucial for feeling good. Your traveling abroad experience will be even richer and more fun, because by getting in touch with people and interacting with locals, we experience the culture and space more authentically and become more than just tourists.