When you embark on the road of parenthood, you are probably in awe of the other mums and dads out there doing an incredible job at raising brilliant little people. You might feel the pressure to live up to your peers and you may worry about every decision you make for your darlings. Which school should they go to? Should you cut out all sweet snacks from their diet? Is one hour screen time every day too much? Try not to sweat it over the small things too much. It is the bigger decisions that you need to focus on.
Every parent wants to raise happy, responsible, and caring human beings. Your offspring are your pride and joy, and you want the best for them. As they enter school, you need to encourage them without being pushy. In the UK, learning a second language is an integral part of the secondary education system. Recent studies have shown that bilingual kids are more adept at multi-tasking, analysing, and having empathetic attitudes. Take a look at these three reasons why your child should learn a second language.
Boosts Brain Power
Learning a different language taps parts of the brain that don’t get used too often as a child. Cognitive function is increased, meaning that your little cherub will increase his or her powers of deduction, problem-solving, and comprehension. Even MRI scans have shown that those individuals who can speak a second language have denser areas of grey matter in their brains, meaning that they have enhanced thinking power and cognitive ability.
Communication skills can be enhanced meaning that your child will be better prepared for university life. Language skills boost confidence and make you less likely to feel inadequate against your peers. Having a second language under their belt will make your children more likely to have a knack for languages. They will pick up on the pronunciation of vocabulary and will be more confident to converse with people from different backgrounds.
Learning a second language can open up doors for travel and new experiences. Plenty of school trips abroad are based on language classes and lessons. If your child has been learning French, a trip to Paris could be planned for their GCSE years. Immersing your child in new cultures from a young age and empowering them to see new vistas and try new cuisines can make them more tolerant and respectful to people different from themselves.
Travel doesn’t have to stop at a school trip. They may catch the wanderlust bug and be eager to take a year out before starting uni. They could venture on a volunteering holiday overseas, they might backpack around South America, or they may flex their language credentials by taking up a pre-uni work placement in Germany or Spain. It could also change their vision of travel. Rather than taking a vacation at an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean for a fortnight, their idea of an awesome annual summer holiday might be trekking the Inca Trail in Peru. Having a second language in their armoury of skills can open up so many opportunities to your child.
Look on any CV and the more impressive ones have a second language listed. Future employment opportunities may be scarcer or more fiercely fought over. To make your little cherub stand head and shoulders above the competition, a second language will come in useful. Many children enjoy learning a language and prefer the oral nature of the lessons. This is ideal for those kids who are less keen on writing and having their head in a textbook. Having a second language means that larger multi-national companies will be more interested in your offspring’s CV.
Being fluent in French, Spanish German or Arabic will open up more doors, from translation services to the opportunity to work in a head office in Dusseldorf, Madrid, or Dubai. These experiences will enrich your child’s future prospects and enable them to climb their chosen career ladder more quickly. While money is not the be-all and end-all of success, it is good to know that you have prepared your child to live a potentially more comfortable existence. A second language can empower this to happen.
Learning a second language from a young age is much easier than trying to learn from scratch as an adult. Ensure that your child has the opportunity to learn at least one other language. This will boost their self-esteem, open up doors for travel, help them think in a more analytical way, and benefit them in their future career.