There’s a common misconception that exposing a very young child to learning a new language can only cause that child to have difficulties with both languages. However, the truth is vastly different and completely opposite. Child’s brain at an early age is programmed to soak up as much information as possible, and a big part of this includes the languages. But there’s no specific setting in a child’s brain that knows how to focus on their mother tongue only. Actually, the more exposed they are to a new language together with their native one, children are likelier to learn both to the point of becoming bilingual.
Kids who know more languages are more adaptive
This might be a shocking fact to many, but the truth is that kids are ready to soak up a new language at the age of just seven months old. At this point, they still can’t speak their main mother tongue, but the child’s brain is developed enough to distinguish the sounds, sequences, and tempo from different languages. This is precisely the reason why young children excel at learning new things, especially when it comes to new languages.
Raising a bilingual child and continuing with constant exposure to the new language helps the children develop a multi-tasking skill that’s considerably stronger compared to their monolingual peers. This can be helpful in situations that require the child to use their critical thinking. It’s also beneficial when it comes to the child’s ability to adapt to changes, travelling environments and moving away, much like they adapt and switch gears for using different languages.
Learning a new language improves brain development
Early learning has many benefits for children, but the most notable one definitely has everything to do with increased brain development and healthier habits. Training their brains to recognize and consequently use different languages considerably boosts cognitive power. Not only is this crucial for other learning opportunities and a child’s interest in the world around them, but the said cognitive boost continues throughout their life.
In that respect, bilingual kids often find school tasks to be easier compared to their monolingual friends. Also, the already powered-up brain soaks up knowledge and finds logic a lot easier. It’s important to mention that a new language means learning about new cultures as well, which significantly affects the child’s points of view as well as social skills. The positive effect is so remarkable that even at an old age, people who learned a new language as children tend not to suffer from cognitive disorders as much.
New language is just the beginning
Stick to your own unique parenting style but don’t hesitate to make the most out of day care and kids’ early learning centers. Through games and positive reinforcement, learning a new language can significantly prepare your child for the future. Raising bilingual children will help them become more adaptable to different environments and boost their cognitive power. This means that the child becomes equipped with crucial lifestyle and professional skills from a very early age, and only continues to develop these skills faster.
Spending time in a creative environment surrounded by peers, teachers and/or parents who use different languages to engage in playtime, reading programs, free educational resources and conversation will set the kid up for a confident and positive self-image. Increased focus, attention, and critical thinking in childhood are bound to affect the child’s creative and professional expression later in life.
Exposing your child to a new language is the best thing you can do for your kid as a parent. At a very early age, children’s brains are like sponges as they soak up every little bit of information. But that’s not all. They instantly start to learn how to process and categorize this knowledge in order to use it successfully. In that respect, raising bilingual children will open the doors for many possibilities that might otherwise remain closed. And leaving the doors closed is simply a wasted potential that your child isn’t afraid to utilize. So, why should you, as a parent, be scared to let them do and be their best as they grow?