Benefits of growing up bilingual
Do you fully know how much your child can benefit from a bilingual environment?
Bilingualism refers to the ability to use two languages in everyday life.
One common concern parents and carers come to us with, is that they worry speaking more than one language with their child will confuse them as they learn to talk, causing a delay in their child’s expressive language. Often, the cause for concern comes from observing that their child’s vocabulary is not developing as quickly as other monolingual children their age. It is true that children exposed to more than one language can take extra time to start speaking, though this is not always the case. It is, however, definitely not because of confusion, but because of all the amazing work happening in their brain.
The reason for this is that the brain is forced to work harder as it develops, strengthening a child’s prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain where executive function resides. Between the ages of 0-3, the brains of young children are uniquely suited to learning a second language, as the brain is in its most flexible stage.
In fact, bilingually exposed infants excelled in detecting a switch in language as early as 6 months old.
As adults, we have to consider grammar rules and practice, but young children absorb sounds, structures, intonation patterns and the rules of a second language very easily. Up until the age of 8, young learners benefit from flexible ear and speech muscles that can detect differences between the sounds of a second language.
According to scientific studies, bilingual children are better able to focus, and change their response, easily indicating “cognitive flexibility.” They are better able to plan, prioritize and make decisions, which are traits that require self-control, a very desirable trait in the early childhood classroom, as well as life. As children get older, they tend to score higher on cognitive tests and possess more effective communication skills. Foreign language learning increases their critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of mind.
Also, many studies have found that bilingualism can also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s in old age.
Give your child the best chances and book bilingual sessions with us!