4 Proven Benefits of Speaking Two LanguagesBrooks
When it comes to second language acquisition, there is no time like the present. Preschool and elementary-aged children are in the prime development stage to achieve bilingualism, as their ability to hear and reproduce new sounds will greatly diminish between the ages of eight and 12. As your child reaches bilingualism, they will experience its benefits throughout their life.
- Heightened Attention
A Spanish curriculum for kids could have deeper cognitive benefits than just the language acquisition itself. Speaking two languages involves constant attention and task switching, which according to a NPR report, is a result of the brain having to focus on only speaking one language at any given moment. This improves what psychologists call “executive function,” which is basically the brain’s ability to focus, remember instructions, multitask, and plan.
- Better School Performance
Bilingual children seem to do better in school. According to NPR, a 30-year study at George Mason University found that duel-language students had higher test scores than children in mono-lingual, English-only classrooms. After analyzing eight million student records in six states, researchers also found improved attendance, higher parental involvement, and improved behavior among the bilingual students.
- Reduced Risk of Dementia
According to The Hanen Centre, learning a second language could eventually protect the brain against the cognitive impacts of aging. In one study, researchers found that the onset of dementia was delayed by four years in bilingual patients when compared to monolingual patients. So, while your child’s elementary Spanish curriculum is likely showing immense immediate benefits, these benefits could also carry on through adulthood.
- Improved English Reading Skills
In an American University study, researcher Jennifer Steel spent four years analyzing the performance of students in Portland, OR, according to NPR. Ten percent of students in this district are assigned to a duel-language classroom through a lottery system before entering kindergarten. Steele found that the students in duel-language classrooms were essntially a full school year ahead of their peers in terms of English reading skills. In other words, your child’s elementary school Spanish curriculum could help their English skills as well.
After beginning their Spanish curriculum for kids, and continuing on their track for bilingualism, your child is setting themselves up for cognitive success later in life. Take advantage of this time of learning by exploring your language education options today.