There is no better time than Thanksgiving to reflect on everything that you are thankful and appreciative for. This is also a great practice to pass on to your children as they learn to take time and appreciate the good things and good people that they have in their lives.
As parents, there is plenty to be thankful for when it comes to our children, but why not add the gift of language that you can give your little ones to the list of things to be grateful for? If you are a parent considering or in the process of teaching your child a second language, then there’s no better time than Thanksgiving to appreciate all of the incredible benefits that come with teaching children to be multilingual at a young age.
Here are three of our favorite benefits that are sure to inspire plenty of “thank you’s!” later on in life:
Gives Kids A Head Start
Every parent wants to give their child a head start in life, especially from a young age. Experts have found that children who learn a second language before they turn five are activating the same part of the brain that is used to learn their native language. Learning a second language can actually help children with language skills in their mother tongue as well. Introducing a second language at the earliest age is ideal as it is easier for young children to learn second languages because their brains are very flexible and already in language acquisition mode. Allowing them the opportunity to adopt a second language early on will definitely give them a head start in their language learning journey.
Teaches Kids About Other Cultures
Teaching children a second language is also a great way to teach them about other cultures. Children who are exposed to second languages tend to have more cultural sensitivity and empathy. This is a great way to nurture a child’s curiosity and build their tolerance towards others.
Boosts Cognitive Skills and Academic Achievement
One of the many reasons experts encourage parents to start teaching their child a second language early on is because it can boost certain cognitive skills, like problem-solving capabilities, which in turn, leads to better academic achievement. It can also help kids with critical-thinking, planning, concentration, memory and multitasking.
With so many amazing benefits that last well beyond childhood years, it’s easy to see why the ability to teach and learn a second language is something to be thankful for. Children who are multilingual have access to so many outstanding benefits. As their parents, you can make sure that your children can also benefit from them by introducing them to a second language. They will surely thank you for it later in life, perhaps during Thanksgiving in the near future, when they can appreciate the endless opportunities that were made available to them by simply knowing a second language!
Sources: “The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual”, Raising Children; “Why Learning a New Language Improves Tolerance”, Middlebury Language Schools; ASHA the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
This blog series is powered by Binibi, an education company dedicated to promoting bilingualism at the earliest ages. Binibi makes bilingual sound books for children ages 0-5 that are designed for parents to have a fun and easy way to introduce a second language at home, from day one. Binibi is dedicated to creating reading experiences that are both entertaining and educational, and to encouraging parents and caregivers to spend time with their babies through reading together. Binibi seeks to promote language development in children and to encourage families to raise bilingual children.