WHY DO YOUR CHILDREN NEED TO LEARN BILINGUAL SINCE AN EARLY AGE?
Language skills are an important asset for children in the future. At present many educational institutions or schools use foreign languages such as English or Mandarin as the language of instruction in schools. So what exactly is the benefit of children learning two languages from an early age?
- Learn faster
Learning other languages early will be easier than when the child is getting older. Erika Levy, Ph.D., assistant professor of speech and language pathology at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA, said that children under the age of 2 or 3 years develop language skills quickly. “They quickly absorb whatever they hear,” he said.
According to Levy, children can learn to understand new words in 2 different languages at a much greater speed than adults. So take advantage of this age to immediately introduce and teach them to be bilingual.
- Recite better
François Thibaut, director of The Language Workshop for Children in New York said that the earlier a child learns another language, the easier it is for them to understand unique sounds. According to Thibaut, the sharpest ability to hear phonetic pronunciation with native language is before children are 3 years old. “We lose the capacity to hear, understand, and produce certain sounds if we don’t know them early on,” he said. This means, if taught early on, their ability to master other languages will be better.
- More fluent
A study published in the journal Cognitive Psycholgy says that children who learn foreign languages from an early age will be able to speak better. They are more likely to have a fluency that is on par with the natives of the foreign language.
- Better brain executive functions
Based on research conducted by Ellen Bialystok, OC, FRSC, psychologists and professors of language development at York University, Canada, bilingual people are better able to transition between two tasks, becoming multitasking, dividing focus, and solving problems more easily.
- More creative
Levy said that one of the benefits of using two languages is that children will grow into someone who is more creative.
- Easier to master many languages
Bialystok said that bilingual children would find it easier to learn third, fourth and so on languages.
- Not senile
A study from the American Academy of Neurology states that the accumulation of the effects of bilingual experience can be a protection against cognitive decline along with aging and prevent diseases related to brain function such as Alzheimer’s.