Benefits of an Early Bilingual Education
Arguably the best way to raise a child who is bilingual is to expose them to the second language as soon as possible. According to a recent TED talk by Patricia Kuhl, PHD, the co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, the earlier the exposure, the easier it becomes to pick up a second language.
Even if you are not able to speak the second language yourself, exposing your children to it at an early age will help instill a native or at least near-native pronunciation of that language. It will be challenging at first, but that is part of the fun in having your kids learn a second language and become bilingual.
While the most obvious advantage is that your child will be able to learn a second language easier, there are other benefits as well.
Improved Brain Power: Learning a second language early in life helps to stimulate the brain in a way that expands cognitive abilities. From having them listen or watch programs that are spoken in another language to singing songs, reading books, or even having someone who does speak a second language talk to your children.
Of course, if you can get a tutor who is fluent in a second language. Preferably one who speaks natively, then it can help to enhance the cognitive learning skills of your child.
Better Reading Skills: One aspect of learning a new language is a better appreciation for reading. This means that the literacy skills are improved which may have powerful benefits in the future in terms of reading comprehension, improving scores on tests, and the like. Students who learned a second language scored better on SAT entrance exams on average compared to students who only knew a single language.
In other words, learning a second language early on builds up reading and comprehension skills that can be quite useful later in life.
Appreciating Different Cultures: For children who are exposed to a new language at an early age, they develop a greater appreciation for the culture where it came. This means an increased interest in the different nations, cultures, and peoples around the world. The result is that children not only grow to appreciate a new culture, but they are more eager to learn even more languages to help expand their knowledge of the world.
Global Reach: As our world grows smaller every day, the ability to learn new languages is becoming even more important. This is especially true in commerce as products come from different parts of the globe. It may be expected at some point in the future that in order to succeed, being at least bilingual will be recommended.
The earlier you start your child on the path towards learning a new language, the more they will grow. Both in terms of doubling the number of languages in which they speak. But also, in expanding their cognitive abilities. Learning a new language opens a doorway in which your child will grow and appreciate the world around them.
AyiConnect provides a platform to connect you with local bilingual helpers such as nannies, caregivers, cooks/cleaners, or tutors, via activity booking. Join us to start this journey! It’s free to sign up, search to book them.