by Angie Shiflett
Sprechen Sie deutsch? There are many different reasons why kids get ahead learning a second language. Professionals in education as well as professionals that work directly with children have established that there are several benefits associated with learning an additional language and even multiple languages. The linguistic abilities of the child are greatly enhanced. In addition to this, learning a second language has been found to increase the creative output of the child as well as their cognitive abilities. Unfortunately, when it comes to budget cuts related to the Department of Education, language programs are typically the first to go. It is important that you support foreign language programs and here, you will learn why.
In evaluating the effect of learning more than one language in children, it has been established that it assists in helping those children understand other cultures from the world and increases their global awareness – which is a critical skill in the 21st Century. As children become adults, they will live and work in a society that is considered to be global. It is a known fact that most careers involve working and interacting with individuals from different regions of the world on a regular basis. Additionally, there will likely be local business interactions in a person’s career that will require them to interact with someone who does not speak English natively. By learning a second or even a third language, students will grow into adults that have the capability to interact with others in a successful manner.
If a young child is permitted and encouraged to learn one or more additional languages, they are able to successfully develop proficiencies in the language that they are concentrating on. If a child focuses on a different language at a very young age, they will be able to develop pronunciation skills that are similar to those that speak the language in a native manner. In addition to this, they are able to develop a native form of intonation. Children that focus on learning a second language are often very excited to learn that language and become very open in accepting those openly that speak the language that they are learning.
In addition to the above benefits, it has been found that children that are able to focus on a second language have an increased level of development on a cognitive level. One of the main areas that children develop skills in is referred to as “object performance” according to educational professionals. This is the process in which a child knows and understands that an object that they are familiar with has more than one name in more than one language, but that object continues to be the same despite the fact that the object is called differently among various types of nationalities.
Many educators and other professionals have established the fact that learning a new language in more than simply an activity that is linguistic based. Many professionals agree that focusing on a foreign language provides a child with an opportunity to increase their skills in cognitive based problem solving. These types of problem solving skills involve the use of in-depth critical considerations, mental flexibility, as well as moderate levels of creativity. Students that have learned a second language or are in the process of learning a second language have been evaluated on standardized testing procedures used in schools. Surprisingly, these children received higher scores in more than just the verbal aspect of the tests. They also scored higher in math.
Learning a second language is often challenging for older teenagers and adults, but if a child is introduced to a new language between birth and approximately eight years of age, they are more likely to learn that language with ease and understand the language. In addition to this, these students are likely to have higher levels of academic success throughout school. When a child learns a second language, it not only activates the components of the brain that are responsible for verbal and written communication, but it also activates the areas of the brain that are directly responsible for reasoning, thinking, and numeric understanding. As a result, the child is capable of excelling in virtually every area of their academic careers.
Tips To Ensure Success in Learning a Second Language
If you are interested in allowing your child to engage in classes that will allow them to learn a new language, there are several tips available that will assist in ensuring your child’s overall success. The following highlights these tips:
1. First, it is important to know what is happening in the classroom. You should inquire about the curriculum as well as the books that are being used. By knowing what is going on in your child’s foreign language class, you will be able to reinforce those skills at home.
2. You should take words that the child is learning in their second language class and create flashcards using those words. This assists in reinforcing the lessons that the child is learning in the classroom.
3. If your child is learning a second language, it is a good idea to expose them to individuals that speak that language in a native manner. This will assist in increasing their proficiency.
4. If you would like to optimize your child’s ability to learn a second language, it is a good idea to take the same language. This will prove to be highly motivational for both you and your child and may help you both in achieving success in that language.
5. There are many books, games, videos, and other types of learning tools that you may use in conjunction with your child’s foreign language class that will help them become more successful in the language that they are learning.
There are many benefits to learning a second language or even multiple languages. Now is the time to assist your child in experiencing these benefits.
Angie Shiflett is a content specialist that focuses on writing on an assortment of topics. Currently, her passion is homeschooling. She has been homeschooling her children through The Connections Academy for two years now. Both her and her husband are able to remain at home with their children in order to educate them. They place a high emphasis on family, and dedication to the importance of a proper education.
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