According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, “most children have the capacity and facility to learn more than one language.” Raising bilingual children may seem challenging for some, and it does require some level of determination from the family involved. But the advantages seem to surpass the challenges of raising bilingual kids. Read on and you’ll learn about some of the advantages of raising bilingual children.
Bilingual children work at a more complex level than monolingual kids
The brains in children who speak two languages can handle “higher cognitive processes.” Incultureparent.com outlines some of these:
- “Better ability to focus and be less distracted”
- “Better at multitasking”
- “Increased mental flexibility and creativity”
- “Stronger logic skills”
And, according to the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, they have better memory skills too.
Bilingual kids can have a wider range of work opportunities in the future
Consider Canada as an official bilingual country. Many may argue that learning French may not be worth the trouble as most Canadians function in English. However, according to an article by huffingtonpost.ca, there are thousands of federal government jobs that need to be filled every year.
Canadian families don’t need to speak french for their kids to be bilingual. They can choose to enrol children in the Canadian French Immersion program. So Canada will teach kids French for free. In exchange, these bilingual children may be the only ones qualified to fill up these government positions in the future.
See more from our site on this topic, as it relates to French Immersion tutoring and education:
- Why get a French Immersion tutor?
- The pros and cons of French Immersion programs and how French Immersion tutoring can help
But looking at how globalized everything has become, children who grow up speaking two or more languages will have much wider access to career opportunities than monolingual kids across the globe. It may be much easier for bilingual kids to work for international companies and abroad.
Being bilingual can help delay dementia and Alzheimer’s in old age
BBC.com says that “scientists examined almost 650 dementia patients” as part of a research that wanted to know what impact bilingualism had on dementia. The results showed that bilingual patients developed dementia a few years later than monolingual patients.
The New Yorker has a great article on bilingualism and the aging brain. They mention the research done on Alzheimer’s patients and how being bilingual has acted as a protection against the onset symptoms of the disease. The research concluded that bilingual patients developed delayed diagnosis and symptoms of the disease compared to monolingual patients.
To conclude, if your child is already bilingual, learning even more languages may be easier for them as their brains are already trained to handle such a complex task.
For families who already have bilingualism in their midst, exposing your kids to a second language can start as young as infancy. The younger, the better! Consistency and perseverance in keeping a second language is key. But taking into account the above advantages mentioned in this article, seems worthwhile!