Ours is a small world, and it’s getting smaller by the day. Cultures and communities are far more connected and interdependent on each other than they were a decade back. Bilingualism and multilingualism is one of the most useful skill sets for your child to possess today and in the future. Knowing multiple languages will especially come in handy should your child decide to continue his/her studies or career either in a different state or country.
Moreover, multilingualism has numerous cognitive benefits. People who speak multiple languages often have better memory, critical thinking and multitasking skills. So here are a few reasons why it might be extremely beneficial for your child to learn a new language – or maybe two!
Career Boost: Employers are more likely to hire individuals who can communicate and connect with clientele who come from different countries. Knowing more than one language can often set someone apart from the rest of their competition in this context. Companies often seek employees with an ability to deal with various foreign markets as well as serve any foreign demographics within the country, so do make sure that you pick an internationally recognized language (like French or Spanish) to keep you ahead.
Fitting in: Even if the university your child is going to for higher studies conducts their main classes in English, knowing another language can help in adapting to the new country and environment. This is more so because students often struggle to assimilate with their host country’s culture (outside the classroom) primarily due to a language barrier. This is why it might be extremely beneficial to be fluent in more than one language. For example, it would be useful for your child to be proficient in English and French if they decide to pursue their higher education in France.
Brain Benefits: Multi-linguists tend to have improved concentration and retention capacities that mono-linguists (people who speak only one language). They are more likely to multi-task more efficiently and flexibly compared to their counterparts. Additionally, knowing the vocabulary and contexts that exists within another language can help your child gain a greater sense of critical and divergent thinking.
Perspective and Empathy: One of the most promising advantages of learning a new language is the ability to connect to other cultures and ways of life. It allows for a greater understanding of another land and help foster an appreciation for the traditions and customs associated with the local language. Such an understanding can further widen one’s perspective and empathy for diverse populations. Quite often, a second or third language often acts as a conduit to learning the difference and similarities one culture might have when compared to our own.