Learning a second language has so many advantages, like improving career opportunities or the ability to communicate with more people. But learning a second language as a child means a whole lot more. It offers your child a chance to develop their growing brain in different ways by exposing them to different cultures and experiences and exercising attention and selective learning.
Kids who are taught a second language from an early age have showed signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility as well as enhanced problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills. Childhood is considered prime time for learning different languages, from ages 0 to 8, also known as the “sponge years”, children have the ability to learn a second language with fluent grammar and no accent.
Evidences from a study by Cornell University have shown that children in bilingual children have an easier time understanding the intricacies and ambiguities of a language and tend to be better at understanding other people’s perspectives. Another finding from the study was that “in order to avoid communicative breakdowns and to repair miscommunications, bilingual children also effectively code switch by alternating between each of their languages depending on whom they are speaking to and on the social context.”
Another great benefit of learning a second language as a child is developing a cultural sensibility and social skills. Studies have argued that our understanding of the world is shaped by the language we use. For instance, languages such as Spanish have gendered nouns, while others, like the remote Australian aboriginal tongue from north Queensland, Guugu Yimithirr, use cardinal directions to describe the position of objects.
An article on The New York Times explains that your language forces to be attentive to details in the world when it forces you to specify certain types of information, “and since such habits of speech are cultivated from the earliest age, it is only natural that they can settle into habits of mind that go beyond language itself, affecting your experiences, perceptions, associations, feelings, memories and orientation in the world.” Learning how to navigate those differences from a young age will help your child better communicate with people and easily understand different thought processes and points of view.
At Hive, we offer Spanish classes for kids from 3 to 5 years old through our Bee Bilingualand Bee School Programs. If you’re just looking to give your little bee a head start in second language, our weekly Bee Bilingual classes are just what you need. If you’re looking for a more immersive program, our Bee School program offers longer sessions that include music, art, drama and Spanish classes.
Our next terms starts on the 24th of July, 2018. Enrol your little bee now! Or give us a call to schedule a visit.