It’s amazing to see how effortlessly children can adapt to the demands of learning different languages. It’s as if there is a special window of opportunity to learn more than one language, without struggle or extensive classwork. Growing up learning an additional language is also healthy for your child’s brain!
There are many benefits to being bi-lingual. Some are obvious, but others may surprise you.
It’s estimated that as many as two out of every three people in the world speak more than one language! Your baby will grow up with a more global advantage when it comes to job opportunities than mono-language babies. Knowing another language also makes it easier to travel, to communicate with other people around the world (as well as at home), and to be able to participate fully in rich cultural traditions.
Building cognitive skills
Researchers have observed that children who learned more than one language from birth have more active and agile brains – your child could become a super learner! Here are some of the ways bilingual children excel over their mono-linguistic peers:
- Mathematics: Learning a second language helps to decipher complex math and word problems. This is a key skill – being able to process complex information.
- Logic and reasoning: Being able to sort and prioritize information and draw conclusions about what it all means makes unfamiliar situations easier to process.
- Memory and focus: This skill is essential as your child faces increasing social complexity and educational challenges.
- Decision-making: Being a master of two languages helps your child become more decisive. Perhaps, among other reasons, because it builds self-esteem and confidence.
- Other language skills: This one may be a surprise, or not! Having mastered two languages makes it easier for your child to pick up a third later on especially if the two share common linguistic roots (such as French and Spanish).
Keeping family ties intact/sense of self
If you have relatives, perhaps grandparents who have a rich history from another country or culture, it’s an intangible and priceless gift to enable your child with the ability to converse in their native tongue. If there are younger relatives or friends who live in the native country, a simple click of a smartphone and there is an international face-to-face conversation! Reading and writing the language is an even greater benefit.
Children’s Health Care of Massachusetts (CHC Mass) was the nation’s first community health center to open its doors in Boston, providing health services for low and moderate-income people in the inner-city areas, and isolated rural communities. Child-centered and family-focused, Child’s Health Care of Massachusetts is your family’s partner in health providing compassionate and personalized care for your whole child.
If you have questions about language and your child’s development, contact Children’s Health Care of Massachusetts for more information about how you can partner with CHC to help your child achieve the healthiest childhood, possible.