Early language learning is somewhat of a miracle: children pick up their first language as quickly as they do. If for no other reason, early language learning exists to provide kids with even more social and intellectual skills, as they learn to say more words in a new tongue. However, there are several other reasons children should learn a new language. Here are some of the most significant benefits of raising a multilingual child.
Benefits of early language learning
1. Higher Test Scores: A number of studies have proven that students perform better on tests when they have been studying another language. These tests include the SAT. According to the College Board, students who had taken four or more years of a foreign language scored about 140 points higher in the Critical Reading portion of the SAT, almost 140 point higher in Math, and 150 point higher in Writing.
2. Advanced Reading Ability: York University in Canada suggests that bilingual children have an advantage when learning to read. These children have a better grasp of language, and are able to learn new words faster.
3. Increased Confidence: Children are naturally inquisitive, which makes discovering a new language rewarding, regardless of the child’s age. When children accomplish the feat of understanding and speaking another language, they will be more motivated to take on other social and academical challenge.
4. More Brain Power: Author Malcolm Gladwell quoted scientist James Flynn in a recent New Yorker article by saying “The mind is much more like a muscle than we’ve ever realized…it needs to get cognitive exercise.” Research confirms that learning additional languages is a great way to flex those cognitive muscles. A report in Nature also showed that children who knew more than one language had more grey brain matter. Grey matter is responsible for processing information, speech, memory and sensory perception.
5. Natural Accent: The sensitive ears of children make them able to pick up on sounds and inflections specific to different languages, which makes children language learning a breeze.
The benefits of early language learning are countless, start early!