Why would we want young children to learn a second language while concentrating on their primary language? This appears to be a learning overload at a time when youngsters are also learning how to be friends, count, and play on the playground, among other things. However, we are at a point in our life where learning a second language is second nature.
Because the brain is in its most flexible stage between the ages of zero and three, young children’s brains are ideally adapted to learning a second language. In fact, even as young as six months old, bilingually exposed infants excelled in detecting a change in language. They can learn a second language as easily as they learned to walk and communicate in their first. According to the University of Washington News, 27 percent of children under the age of six are now learning a language other than English, according to the US census. The child’s native language is unaffected by learning a second language.
We have to think about grammatical rules and practice as adults, but small children absorb sounds, structures, intonation patterns, and the laws of a second language quickly. Why not educate youth in numerous languages if they can learn them?
In this guide, we’ll look into why parents should understand the benefits of helping their kids become bilingual. We’ll also explore all of the reasons why investing in a language tutor can help your child truly excel at a second language and beyond.
Why are Tutors Necessary for Teaching a Child to Become Bilingual?
Tutoring is a sluggish approach to language learning, but it may and should be used as part of your overall strategy. Even if you or your child is learning through other means, a tutor can make a significant impact on their ability to master a second language.
A qualified language tutor can assist pupils in learning foreign language skills and procedures. These study habits carry across to other subjects as well. One of the reasons schools continue to prioritize language acquisition is because of this. A skilled foreign language teacher may also educate your pupil how to expand their vocabulary, improve their pronunciation, and recall what they’ve learned. Games, songs, learning tips, and flashcards are examples of tools. A tutor may also assist in the creation of an action plan as well as the motivation to practice on a daily basis. Your learner will be able to fully absorb and utilize new terminology if they practice it on a regular basis. Working with a tutor can help your student become more self-assured and less stressed.
Students might benefit from the assistance of a language instructor in improving their grammar skills. The tutor can help your child understand the similarities and contrasts between English and the language they are studying by studying Spanish, Chinese, or French.
One-on-one teaching is another advantage of hiring a language teacher. Students appreciate one-on-one attention. They can ask questions, get comments, and work through their problems. A language tutor can examine a student’s strengths and shortcomings using a personalized method. Then they can concentrate on exactly what the learner requires. In a one-on-one setting, students are also more comfortable revealing their challenges, asking for support, and trying new skills.
For optimal benefit, tutoring should be done for two hours each day, seven days per week. We recommend tutoring for at least one hour per day, five days per week.
The Top Benefits of Encouraging Your Child to Become Bilingual
It is worth noting that the majority of these benefits are only discernible in youngsters who have made steady and significant progress in two languages. Training in a second language on a sporadic basis is unlikely to have a significant cognitive impact. Real mastery in many languages, on the other hand, will provide a youngster with a long-term educational edge.
Opportunities for employment
The majority of people see the practical benefits of bilingualism as their primary motivation for raising bilingual children. In fact, many monolingual parents prefer to raise multilingual children primarily for practical reasons. A second language, in particular, can open doors to new work options. Globalization has resulted in several changes and new job opportunities. Bilingual professionals (particularly in English, German, or French) are in high demand in my home nation of Ukraine. As a result of this benefit, many parents enroll their children in foreign language classes as early as 2-3 years old. Despite the fact that English is the world’s major language of business and commerce, the demand for multilingual experts is constantly increasing in the United States, and it will only continue to rise in the future. Learning two languages early in life makes learning more languages later easy. So, if you want your child to be able to communicate in many languages as an adult, start teaching them a second language now.
Knowing two or more languages allows you to access information in all of them, including professional information, original language literature, web resources, and cultural legacy. Bilinguals have the advantage of being able to obtain information from a greater range of sources.
When a multilingual youngster attempts to communicate, both languages compete for attention. The child must swiftly select one and inhibit the other, switching back and forth between them in a split second. This ability allows children to concentrate better in a busy classroom by muting all other distracting noises.
Travel will become much easier
Travel is an excellent way to introduce younger children to the world. It’s especially true if one of the languages a child is studying is Mandarin, English, Spanish, Hindi, Russian, Arabic, French, or German, which are all widely spoken languages. It’s also no secret that travel can be a very effective tool for opening a person’s mind to new ways of thinking, doing things, and being creative, all of which are really valuable qualities in our daily lives.
Better test scores
Many hypotheses and discussions exist among child development experts about the specific methods in which bilingual education trains and affects a child’s brain. Learning mechanisms are always being researched, and our understanding of them is improving with time.
Test scores are one way that language acquisition benefits children in the setting of education. On assessments requiring creative thinking or problem-solving, bilinguals perform better on average. The ability to convert abstract concepts from one language to another aids in the development of the ability to consider real problems in multiple abstract ways.
Early reading skills will improve
Bilingual youngsters have an easier time learning to read at a young age. They become aware of language as a tool they can utilize rather than a passive aspect of their environment over which they have no influence by learning two languages. This relates to an awareness of language usage, such as the idea that two words can signify the same thing or that a single word can be used as multiple parts of speech depending on the context.
Problem-solving abilities will improve
Bilingual children have more mental attentiveness, making it easier for them to solve difficulties. A child’s capacity to focus on mental tasks improves with early bilingual training. While they are still pre-verbal infants, the multilingual experience familiarizes children with the process of deciphering thoughts as well as their physical surroundings. Later in life, this translates to a keen interest in abstract concepts. Many early childhood education programs place a strong emphasis on abstract thinking skills, giving bilingual youngsters a head start.
Bilingual youngsters, on the other hand, develop stronger overall skills in both their primary and secondary languages. Bilingual infants may appear to be moving more slowly in early language development because they have so many methods to communicate, yet bilinguals nearly always end up with a better level of ability in their dominant language than their monolingual classmates.
Improved capacity to hypothesize
Bilingual children have an easier time coming up with and presenting scientific concepts because their brains are used to decoding and comprehending two or more languages.
Overall language and vocabulary abilities will improve
Because they grasp sounds and tenses, bilingual children perform better in word reading and spelling. When kids begin learning languages in class, they will have an advantage over their classmates.
Everyone, including children, enjoys the feeling of accomplishment. Knowing a second language can help them get that sensation. You might almost feel like a superhero when you know you’ve taken on a difficult task and completed what you set out to do. You have the impression that there is nothing you can’t accomplish.
Learning a new language might be similar to crossing the finish line of your first marathon. You reflect on how difficult it was at first and take satisfaction in the fact that you never gave up, despite moments of self-doubt along the way. This instills confidence in your youngster, encouraging them to try new things.
Learning a second language is a great brain exercise
Even though a bilingual child is only speaking one language, all sides of their brain are always attentive and functioning. Their cognitive talents are enhanced since their brains work a little bit harder than a monolingual brain.
Overall brain development can be improved
Bilingualism is beneficial to a child’s brain development. Planning, problem-solving, concentration, and multitasking are all skills that bilinguals excel at. These cognitive benefits can be evident right away. According to one study, infants exposed to a dual-language environment displayed advanced executive functioning as early as seven months old when compared to monolingual peers.
Multilingual children have acquired the ability of interpersonal comprehension and listening, allowing them to communicate more effectively. This is more of an advantage of growing up in a multilingual setting, where you must listen to and understand other people’s opinions.
Learning two languages necessitates the retention of a large amount of data and the ability to produce it on demand. This aids children’s memory for schoolwork as well as other crucial information such as directions. In fact, one of the advantages of learning a second language, according to some research, is that it improves memory in both children and adults. You’ll boost your memory if you try to study a second language with your youngster. Some studies have even demonstrated a correlation between learning a second language and warding off dementia, at least temporarily. More conclusive study is needed to confirm this.
Anyone who has cared for an elderly person with dementia understands how challenging the condition can be. Anyone with a family history of dementia or who believes they are at risk should think about learning another language. You may make it a learning endeavor for the whole family. Incorporate some family exercise time into your language studies for an extra boost. Exercise is another well-known method for slowing the progression of dementia. So put on your sneakers and go on a walk with your child, practicing your vocabulary. You’ll be exercising both your body and mind at the same time, which means you’ll get twice the enjoyment and benefits.
Improved reaction time
Have you ever observed how kids take a long time to respond to an order or an event? Learning many languages pushes the brain to quickly switch between languages depending on who is speaking to you. As a result, the brain is conditioned to respond quickly and react quickly.
Social life and family ties might improve
Speaking a second or third language brings up a whole new universe of possibilities for improving your social abilities. It gives you confidence and serves as an icebreaker to be able to connect with people from diverse cultures. It also makes it easier to communicate with members of that culture’s family.
Improved connection to heritage
This specifically refers to children who are first-generation or have been adopted from another culture. If both parents are not fluent in the community language, teaching a child a minority heritage language will help the family stay together. It’s quite unfortunate when communication breaks down over time simply because parents don’t speak the community language and children’s heritage language skills are restricted. If their children speak their parents’ ancestral language, parents have a better chance of being involved in their children’s life.
Not all parents became multilingual as a result of learning a second language as a child. Some have spent time living in another nation, have studied another language in school or college, or simply have an interest in foreign languages and cultures. When these people have children, they may want their offspring to have the same happy feelings and benefits that they did when they learned a second language.
Similarly, children who can speak effectively across cultural and generational divides in their families are more likely to stay close to them and rely on them for support. There’s also a lower probability of a child feeling left out at family events. If children of immigrants are raised speaking the language, they are more likely to be interested in their ancestral culture as well. They also have a greater sense of self-identity in school and in social situations, which leads to increased self-confidence and self-reliance. Children from minority backgrounds are especially likely to benefit from a bilingual education’s increased cultural pride.
Bilingual youngsters, whether they speak a “heritage” language or not, are more likely to be interested in the cultures that speak their second language. This can show itself early in life as a keen interest in a variety of educational opportunities. Museums, fairs and street festivals, and even simple neighborhood trips will pique bilingual children’s curiosity in ways that monolingual youngsters may not.
Children who are raised multilingual are more likely to display early tolerance for other cultures. They get along better with kids who don’t speak their language or come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and they’re more likely to want to socialize outside of their usual circle. This helps a lot in early childhood with school, which focuses a lot on social skills in the lower grades. It can also help youngsters avoid disciplinary problems later in life, as more tolerant children are generally better behaved.
Because you’ve already exposed them to a different level of tolerance, multilingual children are more open-minded and adaptable. They are more accepting and understanding of others, resulting in compassion and empathy. The ability to interact well with multicultural encounters is a tremendous advantage in an increasingly globalized environment.
Teaching your child a new language can open up a whole new world for you and your youngster. Remember that learning this new skill will require time and a great deal of understanding. Avoid turning it into a pressure cooker situation where you’re disappointed because they’re not learning quickly enough. Also, as usual, consider hiring a tutor to assist them in achieving their language-learning objectives.