Benefits of Learning Second Language at a Young Age


Whether or not a parent agrees with the theory that each individual is born as “tabula rasa”, meaning born without any built-in knowledge, truth is a newborn has a lifetime of experiences ahead and a myriad of skills to acquire. Among many things a parent should teach a child, there are some that are more important than others, mostly because they not only bring certain knowledge or ability but provide many additional benefits regarding knowledge-gaining capacity. 


Experts agree that learning to play a musical instrument and learning to speak more than one language at a young age, contribute to exceptional brain development. And while musical skills require natural talent, learning languages comes more easily. Moreover, if a child is hearing two or more languages even as a newborn it has the ability to become fluent in more than one language or so-to-say have more than one native tongue. 

If a child is growing in such an environment i.e. in a bilingual family, it will “pick up” the language from parents or family members, thus speaking both languages fluently and seamlessly shifting between languages while having natural pronunciation. Every child’s brain has the ability to achieve this and this skill brings myriad benefits for further brain development.

But growing up in a monolingual family should not be a reason for a child to not grow up as bilingual. Modern day era has made it easy for parents to quickly learn a language or use helpful resources to support the child in learning a foreign language. The internet, multimedia and language learning platforms make it possible for each parent to raise a bilingual child. Moreover, having a foreign language speaking nanny or one-on-one tutoring on platforms like https://www.livelingua.com/ have become popular choices these days. 

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So, why is learning foreign languages at a young age more important than any other skill gained? Let’s take a look at what benefits will a child enjoy growing up as bilingual or multilingual. 


Exceptional Brain Development

For years researchers and experts have argued about the effects of simultaneous learning of languages at a very young age. Some of them stated that it brings many advantages, while others propagated that it brings confusion and delays the speech development in children. Well, for parents that are still hesitating, attitudes against early bilingualism are mostly based on myths and misinterpretations, rather than scientific findings. Moreover, aside from scientific research, real-life examples show how many advantages bilingualism  has brought to children at their young age and later on in adult life.

Scientific findings explain the power of learning foreign languages in the “building” of the brain. When a child is communicating in both languages at the same time the brain doubles the connections it forms in order to make meaning out of so many particles that make a language. The complex procedure of learning and remembering words, acquiring the writing and sound system together with the grammar and putting it all together in expression and comprehension, activates many parts of the brain and results in the building of brain connections. Moreover, the neural pathways that are forming result in the building of gray and white matter. That being said, the person speaking two or more languages enjoys exceptional cognitive abilities.

Learning and speaking foreign languages results in the building of the brain, similar to how physical exercises affect the building of muscles and shapes the body. Moreover, the “strength” of the brain with such great cognitive abilities acquired, provides many consequential benefits to a child. 

Excellent Academic Performance 

Good cognitive abilities bring great benefits when it comes to learning. Primarily, a younger child that has the ability to easily grasp information and make an understanding of what was acquired, gets interested and easily engaged in a subject or the study process in general. Humans always find interesting what they are good at and bilingual children are excellent in remembering and learning, thus interested in studying and mostly perform well at school. Moreover, speaking two languages at a young age is a great base for learning more foreign languages later on in life. 

Better Social Skills 

As a bilingual child grows up and starts to socialize it realizes that it speaks two different languages. This is associated with the idea that from a young age bilinguals understand that the world is a diverse place and they embrace it. Moreover, they become very curious and friendly, thus easily making friends. As their perception of the people around them and the world is more open-minded it’s unlikely that they will become bullies or get bullied in the school environment. 

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Increased Child Self-Confidence

Researches from Windsor University in Canada have found that children speaking two or more languages have higher self-esteem than their monolingual peers. As the child’s self-confidence greatly affects its social and academic life, bilingualism is important for building a strong attitude and bold character at a young age that will positively affect their life path and professional career leather on in life. 

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