Exposing your child to a second language early on is one of the simplest ways to raise a “bilingual kid.” Patricia Kuhl, PHD, and co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, discussed it at length here, at a Ted Talk conference.
Native, or near native pronunciation will occur when you start the introduction of a new language early in life. You may not speak this second language yourself, but that doesn't mean that you are unable to instill it into your children with the right tools and resources. Research suggests that interaction with the child during language learning is extremely critical. Recognizing the importance of raising your child to be bilingual will keep you motivated and committed to this fun “challenge.”
We outlined a few benefits of early bilingual or second language education for young babies and toddlers below, which might help parents become more aware of the positive outcomes:
Improved Brain Power
Recent research has proven that early exposure to a second language will stimulate the developing brain of a young child, as well as offering them the experience of advanced cognitive abilities. Some activities are great to start with, such as making them listen to or watch programs in the new language, or singing a song or reading them books in English, and the second language. If you are unable to speak the language, find someone who can, such as a bilingual nanny here with that particular linguistic ability.
Better Reading Skills
Children who learn a second language early on tend to read more willingly. Advanced literacy skills are developed during these formative years, and can lead to an increase in test scores later. In fact, the SAT entrance exam board has clearly noted higher scores with students reporting to have received more than two years of a secondary language education. Bilingual children score better in the math and verbal subdivisions of standardized tests, as well. Wouldn't you love to help your child do well on tests by teaching them a new language early?
Children who are introduced to new languages tend to have a stronger appreciation toward other cultures. This is essential in developing their view on other existing races. Children can actually love learning new languages, and every step of the way, you’re bound to notice an increase in their self-confidence.
Our world is shrinking as we experience more cultures, make friends who aren’t native English speakers, and buy products from all over the world. Being bilingual is becoming an almost necessary skill to have for the future. We are equipping the children of today for a global marketplace in the future.
When it comes to bilingual education, it’s more practical to establish it in a child’s younger years. You can make the most of the experience by having fun learning a new language right along with your child.
AyiConnection provides a platform to connect you with local bilingual caregivers and nannies, au pairs, tutors and more. Join us to start this journey! It’s free to sign up, search and chat with your prospects. Give your child the gift of learning a new language entirely during the formative years of his/her life.