Spanish for You! students having a short conversation asking “who, what, where, when, and why.”
Most Americans begin learning a foreign language in high school, but there are some good reasons why teaching kids Spanish, or another language, earlier is beneficial. Here are 5 to consider:
- Language learning is easier for younger children. Prior to age 10, children possess a greater ability to integrate language at a more instinctive level. Their brains are still developing physically which allows them to form language processing connections that give them a linguistic advantage. If your child is older than 10, it is still an advantage to start prior to high school.. Those extra years of learning help your child have a richer, more successful learning experience in high school.
- They can become savvy linguists. Have you ever noticed how well adults from other countries seem to speak English and often speak other languages too? That is because children in other countries usually begin a foreign language prior to high school which gives them that language learning boost. This often allows them to more easily learn additional foreign languages.
- Beginning early puts time on your side! Many parents hope their children will be fluent by the time they are adults. When you begin in elementary school, you give your child lots of time to steadily learn and build his language skills without feeling rushed. Later, in high school or college age, he can enroll in a study abroad program where he will be immersed in the language and achieve fluency.
- Your child will be more culturally aware. Learning a foreign language involves exposure to and interaction with other cultures. Foreign language learning teaches kids about communicating via the language, but also helps them cross bridges into the thinking of other cultures. Especially when students spend time abroad immersed in another culture, they come to understand the thinking of the people from the inside. This has tremendous implications for our ability as a country to interact successfully with other nations.
- Your child may have significant employment advantages. As we all know, there are a growing number of jobs that require a person to be bilingual in Spanish, like in education, medical, and food industries. But, besides that, there is no denying the global nature of our world today and how being able to speak another language can give a job seeker an advantage. English seems to be the “international” language, but there is something to be said about the good will created between companies, governments, and organizations when we can speak their language.
If you have wondered whether you should begin your child learning Spanish or another language consider these reasons. You don’t have to do a program that is expensive or time consuming, just something that will build foundations and get them going. The years in high school and college will take care of the rest.
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