Learning a second language at an early age can present some challenges but is well worth the effort because there are many benefits. Understanding the intricacies of more than one language as early as possible is great for children throughout their lives!
It is much easier for young children to learn a new language than adults because this is when their brains begin to develop. The early years are a vital period when cognitive skills and connections are formed which learning a second language can enhance. Their level of perception and inquisitiveness improves and helps them learn more rapidly in every area.
According to research, children who acquire a second language at an early age are more creative than their counterparts who only communicate in their native tongue. It has also been found the cognitive skills they learn can lead to better academic outcomes.
As children grow, being bilingual can also boost their employability. When a child learns a new language at an early age, the likelihood of achieving more in their desired field in later life increases significantly. Organizations often employ people who can speak second languages so they can connect with people from different backgrounds who interact with their business.
A bilingual child is more likely to appreciate diversity and accept cultural differences. Exposure to more than one language can help them embrace different ways of life by providing insights beyond just language as they learn about different ethnic backgrounds.
One way the World Literacy Foundation is helping children learn second languages through its Sun Books and Dingo App initiatives. These programs give disadvantaged children in Africa and Colombia access to digital education in English and their local language.
The many benefits of learning a second language mean it’s a powerful way to improve how children can contribute to society throughout their lives.
All children deserve this opportunity!
Written by: Vanessa Caraveo
Edited by: Eli Furnari