15 childhood benefits of being bilingual
So what should parents do if they want to help their babies and young children learn a second language to reap all these benefits of bilingual?
The capacity to speak multiple languages may be a desired quality in a world that is growing more multicultural and international, particularly when bilingualism has benefits on the social, economic, and intellectual fronts. The majority of Americans (80%) think that kids should be fluent in a second language before they graduate from high school.
What does a bilingual child mean?
Here are some recommendations for successfully promoting dual language acquisition in children if you share the desire to raise a bilingual child. Even if you don't speak another language yourself, you can still benefit from some of these tactics if your household is already bilingual. Vocabulary and grammatical development in children's respective languages are predicted by the volume of linguistic input they receive. There is a better chance of successful language acquisition with richer input. Children who hear a lot of words, for instance, have greater vocabulary sizes. Never undervalue the benefits of regularly exposing your youngster to two languages. Children's language development is also influenced by the quality of linguistic input.
Thankfully, a growing number of people from all walks of life are learning languages nowadays. In actuality, bilingual or multilingual individuals make up more than half of the global populace. So what are those who speak only one language missing out on?
Here are 15 benefits of being bilingual:
1. Better concentration
Both languages fight for attention when a bilingual child speaks. The child must choose one, immediately suppress the other, and fast switch between them. This skill allows children to better concentrate in a busy classroom and block out all other unimportant sounds.
2. Arithmetic and problem-solving
Children who speak two languages are more mentally attentive, which makes it much easier for them to solve difficulties. According to research by psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin, the benefits of bilinguals categorize objects by shapes and colors more readily than their monolingual peers.
3. Creativity and ability to hypothesize
Since their brains are used to decoding and interpreting two or more languages, bilingual kids have an easier time coming up with and explaining scientific ideas.
4. Better language and vocabulary
Due to their knowledge of sounds and tenses, bilingual children do better while reading and spelling words. They will have an advantage over other students when they begin studying languages in school as a result. Learning a second language improves your ability to analyze your native tongue and expands your linguistic horizons. It is made easier to learn a third or fourth language since you have a better understanding of how language functions and you have already obtained experience.
5. Brain exercise
Even when a bilingual youngster is speaking in one language, both sides of their brain are constantly attentive and functioning. Their cognitive capacities are improved since their brains are slightly more active than a monolingual brain. A fantastic method to maintain a healthy, sharp brain is to learn a new language. Being bilingual can benefit a person’s multitasking skills, concentration, attention, creativity, and thinking outside the box can all benefit from being multilingual. The memory will benefit from this as well; it will be helpful when shopping and recalling the names of people!
6. Better communication
Children who speak multiple languages have mastered the skills of listening and understanding others, which improves their communication skills. This is more of a benefit of being raised in a multilingual setting where you have to pay attention to and comprehend the viewpoints of others.
7. Better memory
A bilingual child must be able to remember a lot of information and be able to produce it on demand if they learn two languages. This aids children in remembering vital information like dates, directions as well as their schoolwork.
8. Faster response
Have you ever noticed how slow kids may be to react to commands or incidents? Learning several languages forces the brain to quickly switch between them depending on the person you are speaking to. The brain becomes accustomed to quick responses and reduced reaction times as a result.
9. Improved social life and better family connections
A child’s ability to interact with others better opens up a whole new universe when they speak a second or third language. Being able to speak with individuals from various cultures helps to break the ice and builds confidence. Better communication with family members who are from that culture is also beneficial. Being multilingual exposes a person to many traditions, concepts, and viewpoints from various civilizations. Although acquiring a second language is not necessary to learn about different cultures, doing so gives for a more immersive experience. Speaking a second language increases your social skills and confidence while opening up a wide range of new social changes.
Multilingual Kids are more adaptive and open-minded since you have already exposed them to a range of tolerance. In addition, they are more tolerant and understanding of other people, which results in compassion and empathy.
11. Give children an academic advantage
Bilingual children can perform better than monolingual children in a variety of academic areas, according to studies. Bilingualism has benefits that can last for many years, including improvements in a child's cognitive development, social skills, literacy, and emotional skills.
12. Make travel easier and more enjoyable
Learning languages is essential if you travel the world or want to. When there is no language barrier, traveling is much more enjoyable and simple. You can also have a more authentic and immersive experience. Along the route, you can interact directly with the locals and make more friends. A perk is being able to ask for directions when you get lost and knowing what food to order without referring to photographs.
13. Improve competitiveness in the job market
Depending on the languages you speak, learning a second language can increase your employment options. The importance of communication in the workplace has led to an increase in the number of businesses giving bilingualism a high priority, particularly those with international operations. Another significant advantage is being able to
14. You can better raise your kids in bilingual
Raising your children bilingually may aid in their recognition of the value of their culture and heritage as well as their development of a stronger sense of self. It's a wonderful gift to be able to give your kids, especially if the language spoken at home is different from the one being taught in school. Simply knowing a second language will greatly aid in encouraging your children to acquire it as well.
15. Stay mentally stronger for longer
According to recent research, bilingual persons have brains that age more slowly and hence lead longer more fulfilling lives. Being multilingual can prevent brain conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's, which is now a widely accepted fact.
At a young age, the bilingual acquisition is as natural as learning how to walk or crawl. Kids who learn decoding skills in one language will easily translate to English or any other language. Multicultural parenting may not be the easiest, but it comes with many benefits for the children. As we have seen, there are multiple benefits of being bilingual.