They say that you can never be too old to start learning a new language. While that is true, educators and researchers suggest that learning a foreign language should start when we are still young. Learning a new language at a young age has significant benefits in a child’s cognitive and social development. It will also prepare them for better job opportunities in the future.
You and your child can choose a high school course in Gilbert, Arizona that has foreign languages in its curriculum. If you’re going to pick a language to learn, make sure to weigh its uses and advantages in the future. For business, English is still the most widely used language. Many business sectors are also using Chinese-Mandarin, Spanish, and Portuguese, so knowledge of these languages will benefit you, too.
Children Are Unafraid to Make Mistakes
For adults, the hindrance to learning a new language is the fear of making mistakes. Adults are embarrassed to go to a language instructor and admit that they have not been able to understand the lessons. They are even afraid to admit that they simply can’t remember all the sentence structure and pronunciations that go into learning the new language. Children, especially those younger than five years old, have no concept of embarrassment when they make a mistake.
Learning a new language is a trial-and-error process. Making mistakes is part of the process of learning French, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, and many other languages. For children, learning is an everyday process. It’s all experiential. They experience that when they start to learn how to use the spoon and fork. They associate that same feeling with learning a new language. They unknowingly work through their fears, whereas adults are embarrassed and too careful to make these mistakes.
Children’s Retention for Languages Is Better
Can you still remember how you learned to speak your mother tongue? No, you can’t. It’s the same for children when they are learning a new language. They embrace the knowledge as if they’re learning how to speak in their mother tongue. It comes naturally to them. Children associate new words to rhymes and songs. They love experimenting with the beat of a song, which is roughly the same as mimicking pronunciations of the new words that they hear. As a result, they remember words, grammar, intonation, and pronunciation more accurately.
Adults aren’t as carefree when they are learning a new language. They aren’t as uninhibited. They are more self-conscious, and they care more about what their professors and classmates think than learning this new and interesting language.
Children who are exposed to foreign languages are more likely to feel emphatic and have a connection to cultures associated with those languages. They develop a sense of camaraderie with people who use the language. When they become older, they will have a different view of the world compared to those who haven’t learned a new language.
Do not hesitate to open a whole new world for your child through language. There is nothing as powerful as being able to speak in more than just your mother tongue. They don’t get confused by learning multiple languages all at the same time. Their natural instinct is to absorb everything that they hear and store it for future use.