Here’s why your child can’t miss that French class

Buongiorno! How are you today? Aren’t we all fascinated by people who can switch between multiple languages?
We know that knowing more than one language helps us in traveling the world and in knowing different cultures. But did you ever consider the benefits of language learning for children?
In this article, let us try to throw light on the advantages of having a multilingual brain and also some time-tested tips on acquiring new tongues.
My child speaks both English and Hindi. How can this help?
As Indians, we have a massive advantage in terms of exposure to languages. Most of the Indian children today, can speak fluently in both their native tongue and English. If you and your spouse are from different parts of the country, chances are that your child speaks in more than two languages. What does this mean in terms of cognition and linguistics? Let’s take a look:

1. Language acquisition:

Unfairly enough, multilingual children are better at learning more languages than monolingual kids. This can be understood if you think of brain as a muscle. Similar to the way exercise strengthens muscles, exercising the brain also strengthens neuronal networks and makes your brain more elastic.
Children who switch constantly between two or more languages are inadvertently exercising their “cognitive muscles”. This makes it easier for them to learn other languages. Also, the knowledge of syntax, grammar, and vocabulary of one language often aids in the acquisition of another.
learning more languages

2. Cognition:

Children who can speak more than one language have also been proven to display better cognitive skills such as memory, the ability to tackle problems, multi-tasking, etc. Research also proves that those of us who speak multiple languages have lower risk of developing dementia. So, this is an investment in a healthy future too.

3. Academic performance:

Learning new languages is as much a logical exercise as it is a creative one. One must build the basic skeleton of a language (syntax and grammar) before filling it in with flesh and blood (vocabulary).
This exercises both the hemispheres of our brain and improves neuronal elasticity. It is hardly a surprise then, that children who know several languages perform better at school than their monolingual peers.
several languages

Interesting. How else?

Besides the cognitive benefits, knowing another language opens up the possibility of getting to know another culture more intimately. Children are more likely to appreciate the differences and similarities between different cultures of the world, if they can speak other languages, get exposure to literature from around the world, and interact with natives from other parts of the world. This is why, at a personal level, knowing more languages shapes our children into more inclusive human beings.
Keeping in mind the rate at which the world is shrinking into a smaller and smaller village, foreign languages are also a great addition to your child’s CV.

I’m convinced. But, how can my child learn another language?

This is an obvious question with a very simple answer. Globally competent schools of today, such as Pioneer World School, appreciate the importance of including foreign languages in curricula. At Pioneer, we start early, from the age of three, as children best absorb new languages when they have actively developing vocabulary.
If this isn’t enough, a hoard of new age applications and digital tools are available for free on the internet, to simplify language learning. Remember that the best way to learn another language is by engaging in conversations. So make sure that your child has a partner to practice with. This could be a peer, tutor, or people that speak the language your child wants to learn, natively.
If you can make language learning interesting for your children, you’ll be surprised to see how quickly they learn. After all, children are great at picking up new languages, and with a little help from you, they can attain fluency in no time!

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