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We all know that delicious feeling of taking a trip abroad and being able to ask for things in a different language – but did you know that language learning can also boost your brain power and make you better at music?
Language learning has a whole range of benefits besides simple communication, especially for little growing brains. That’s why, to celebrate this year’s European Day of Languages, we’re looking at all the reasons why children should learn a foreign language.
It’s easier when you’re younger
If you want your child to learn a new language, it’s best to start them young because the process of language learning is much easier at an early age. This is because young children’s brains are growing and learning all the time without having to consciously put effort into remembering what they’re learning. Adults can’t unconsciously absorb information in the same way, and so learning a language gets harder as you get older. Studies show that children retain this skill up to age 7.
It’s brain boosting
Including languages in children’s early age learning can actually change the way their brain grows and functions. The skills that go along with being able to switch between different languages can also boost problem-solving abilities, multitasking, focusing, reading, and grammar.
It makes children more empathetic
In research done with monolingual and bilingual children, children who could speak more than one language were found to be much better at empathising with other people and seeing the world from their perspective. Experts believe this is because bilingual or multilingual children are used to having to consider others when choosing which language to speak.
It opens career doors
Although your little one’s career may feel like an age away, it’s good to remember that being able to speak another language can be a huge benefit when it comes to job seeking in a whole range of different sectors. Bilingual candidates tend to be eligible for more jobs and achieve higher salaries so it’s a good idea to learn another language while it’s still easy!
It future-proofs skills
With the constant innovation happening in STEM research it’s thought that many current day careers will disappear in favour of more tech-oriented roles in the future. Since programming languages are still languages, children with existing language learning skills will find it much easier to get to grips with coding – giving them even more career options when the time comes.