09 Aug Advantages of Children Learning a Second Language
You want the best for your child; it is the fundamental driving force of every parent. From the day your child is born, you begin imagining all you can do to smooth the way for them to have a big life, one filled with joy, laughter, and perhaps most importantly – opportunities. No matter what your child decides to do and become in this world, what matters most to you, their parent, is that they are happy and fulfilled doing it.
Providing them with every chance you can for them to learn new things, have new experiences and develop a wide circle of friends are all part of that fundamental drive to give them everything within your power, things that will open their hearts and minds to knowledge and even wisdom. Giving them the opportunity to learn a second, or even a third language, is an opportunity unlike any other, and the benefits of that learning are vast, profound, and life-long.
We live in a world that is, in many respects shrinking, thanks to globalization and modern technology. Cultures once beyond our reach are now a marvellous part of our day to day experiences. Think of how many languages your child may hear in just one day, at the park or at the local farmer’s market on a sunny, autumn day. Now imagine your child knowing a second language, knowing how to communicate with so many other people outside their own sphere. The benefits of that being able to do so are vast, and almost immeasurable.
Today, employers are anxious to hire those applicants who speak more than one language, because often their companies engage in business around the continent, or around the entire world. If your child is lucky enough to know two languages because of mom and dad having different backgrounds – for example, English and Cantonese, a third language (French, perhaps?) will one day put your child in the enviable position of choosing their employer, rather than anxiously awaiting a call that offers a position. Children who are comfortable speaking more than one language are better equipped to deal with customers, clients, bosses and colleagues around the world, and that makes them a better candidate for just about any job imaginable.
Whether your child decides to become a teacher or a business executive isn’t the point; imagine him in a classroom, chatting comfortably with students of different backgrounds. Imagine her winning a transfer position to Europe because she can speak Spanish fluently. That child has advantages that are invisible, perhaps, but crucial.
Teaching a second language to children has immediate benefits, too. Studies show that bilingual children learn problem solving techniques more quickly than their “mono-lingual” friends. Studies also show that learning another tongue boosts cognitive development, and helps them progress quickly and comfortably in academic life. And when education comes more easily, everything thereafter flows more easily, too. They even become more self confident.
It takes patience – and sometimes a tutor if there isn’t someone in the home that speaks the second language – but children who have this skill flourish, emotionally, academically, and mentally. And learning it when they are young is important, because they’ll learn it more easily at five than they will at 50.
At five, they are able to drink in the second language at a pace that astonishes adults, and within a very short time, they can speak it, at least conversationally. Within two years and with a little daily practice, they are practically fluent. And, quite apart from all their future job opportunities, think of how many people they can chat with and laugh with now! That, in and of itself, is a plus that any parent wants for their child: the ability to communicate with others means those people stop being strangers. They become a natural part of your child’s world, as it widens and grows, until they are ready to enter the world by themselves. And when they do, other languages don’t seem strange or intimidating. They seem like opportunities for more learning.
English is the world’s language, as many business people call it But knowing other languages, and through them knowing other cultures, is equally important in this wired world.
At Elite Nannies, we know that learning a second language is a priority for you when you’re thinking about your child’s education and future. That’s why we employ so many nannies who speak not just English, but two and, in some cases, even three languages. With your guidance, our nannies establish regular routines with your child, during which they practice and learn the second language – always while having fun, of course! You will be delighted by their progress, and stunned by how quickly they learn. Before you know it, they will be chatting with the grocer in Cantonese, or the taxi driver in Italian, or their teacher in Spanish! For Elite Nannies, these accomplishments your child makes are why they do this work…watching children grow, watching them change and learn, and nurturing their progress every step of the way.