10 Benefits of Learning a Second Language at an Early Age

learning a second language at an early age

In today’s world, being able to speak two or more languages is a serious asset. Aside from being able to communicate with people in different cultures and understand them, learning a new language can unlock opportunities that would have been impossible otherwise. That is why it is vital to encourage children to learn a second language at an early age.

Montessori Academy emphasized the first 3 to 4 years of life are considered the best time for little children to learn a second language because that is when their minds are actively absorbing new information. It is also the age when their brain develops at a fast rate, and their memory power is the strongest.

We will explore the benefits of bilingualism on a child’s brain development.

The 10 Benefits of Learning a Second Language at an Early Age

1. Improved Memory Skills

learning a second language at an early age

The human brain is capable of storing a massive amount of information. It can memorize a library full of books and recognize the names and faces of people we have just met once or twice.

Learning a foreign language, especially as a child, helps build stronger neural connections between the right and left sides of the brain, which results in better memory skills. With an increased capacity to memorize information, learners will be able to remember things in their day-to-day lives much easier without even trying. That is why bilingual children are much better at problem-solving, planning, and concentration.

2. Greater Understanding of Other Cultures

greater understanding of other cultures

Learning a second language at an early age helps young learners understand other cultures and values. It is said that a child who knows more than one language can understand the message of different cultures with more ease and perceive their intentions easily.

It can also keep children open-minded to other races and nationalities and allow them to accept the differences between different cultures as something positive and normal.

3. Improved Listening Skills

It is believed that a child learning a second language at an early age will be able to listen with greater clarity. This will help them learn better and make it easier for them to understand the questions and answers of the people around them.

They will be able to seek out the main points from someone’s speech and understand more of what they are saying. Also, they will be able to follow others more easily and learn more about foreign countries.

4. Confidence to Learn More Languages Later On

confidence to learn more languages

Learning a second language at an early age will give learners more confidence to learn more languages later in life. It will help them better understand grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. 

They will be able to communicate with fluency and have a better understanding of the world around them, which will make them eager to learn other languages. This can open up great opportunities for them later in life.

5. Stronger Vocabulary

A learner who learns a second language as a child will have an enhanced vocabulary. They will be able to understand more of what they hear and say and will be able to speak easily in the language they choose.

They also tend to learn new words every day, which will help them grow a larger vocabulary at an earlier age.

6. Helps Improve Social Skills

A learner who is learning a second language at an early age can develop better social skills and know more about the world around them. 

For example, they can be more confident with their speech and understand others better. Children will be able to ask better questions to the people around them, which will help them learn more about other cultures. It can also help them make new circle friends from other countries.

7. Easier To Understand Written Word

learning a second language at an early age

Learning a second language can help learners develop better written communication skills with ease. As they grow up, they will be able to understand written texts in the language of their choice. It will make it easier for them to read, write and express themselves clearly.

Learning another language at an early age helps learners develop more focus and concentration, which will help them read faster and more efficiently. This can also improve their writing skills in the language of their choice.

8. Greater Confidence

Learning another language as a child boosts the confidence of learners since they can use the language they want to express themselves more easily. 

They will be able to communicate with more fluency and not have to ask for help from their parents to understand new words. This will be good for their self-esteem and make them feel better about themselves. They are also less self-conscious than other learners and are willing to try out newly obtained language skills without fear of shame.

9. Delay In the Onset of Mental Decline

Mental decline is a common problem in old age. It is said that we can slow down brain aging by continuing to learn new things and being more active with our brains. 

The more languages a child speaks, the more their brain tries to stay healthy. Speaking another language will help a child use their brain and keep it active for longer because of the extra effort needed to speak the second language. It can also help them with decision-making skills, which will help them make better choices throughout life.

Now that you know the benefits your child can gain from learning another language, you must take action and prioritize learning a second language. Multilingual parents have the great advantage of being able to teach their little one a second language themselves from their baby’s birth. However, for those adults who are not multilingual, there are still many options to consider.

How to Help Your Little One Learn a Second Language

1. Introduce The Language Early On

learning a second language at an early age

No matter how old your kid is, it is never too soon to introduce them to a new language. 

You must begin exposing them to a new language no later than birth in order for them to be comfortable with it throughout their childhood. Before ten-twelve months, babies can understand sounds from any language. You can do this by singing toddlers their favorite songs and playing music in a different language, which will help expose them to the new language.

2. Begin Teaching The Basics 

A great way to ensure that your little one starts on the right foot is to teach them the basics early. Even if you are not a multi-lingual person, you can still teach your little one the basics of a foreign language.

You can do this by talking to them in the new language and pointing out their favorite things. For example, when they first see a dog, you can call it a “Chien” instead of “dog,” and when they see a bird, you can call it an “oiseau” instead of a bird. 

You also need to make sure that you are using correct grammar whenever you speak the new language. For example, if your child calls something a cat but it is not, then gently correct them.

3. Seek Helpful Tools

seek helpful tools

You must also take advantage of some helpful tools to teach your little one how to speak and understand the new language. These will include anything from toys to books that you can use to appeal to their interests.

For example, if they love trucks, you can get them a French book about trucks or a toy with many buttons and make sure “pressing” is another way of saying “pushing.” This is an excellent way for your little one to learn words in the new language and associate them with different things. You may hire a babysitter or nanny who can speak and use the new language when talking to your child.

4. Enroll Your Little One In Classes

learning a second language at an early age

If you still want your little one to have a more professional approach to learning a new language, enrolling them in a class is the way to go. This can be done at any age and will teach them the basics of learning a foreign language while at the same time allowing them to become more comfortable with speaking it. Montessori Academy offers classes and programs that help your little one learn a foreign language.

Montessori Academy is a school that provides individualized programs and helps children reach their full potential in an environment where they can thrive. If you want your little child to have a place where they can learn with other children who are their peers, consider enrolling them at Montessori Academy.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of benefits to learning a second language as a child. These include better memory skills, improved ability to focus, increased vocabulary, and more. Developing these skills will help your child overcome the challenges they face in school and allow them to grow into confident learners.

You must teach your child a new language and help them learn it well by exposing them to it at an early age. And if you want them to have a more professional approach to learning a foreign language, enroll them in classes or keep them in a bilingual school.

If you have concerns about the education your little one is getting at the moment, then Montessori Academy is a good place to start. They are known for providing children with early education and will make foreign language learning easier for your child. The program at Montessori Academy helps children become more autonomous learners, which will make it easier for them to learn how to speak another language.


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