4 Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language at an Early Age

Today, competing on a global scale is integral to a successful career. For the majority of occupations, speaking foreign languages makes you more marketable and valuable to any company. Teaching foreign languages to kids can set them up for a lifetime of success.

A growing mind can pick up languages quickly, which is why it is an excellent idea to teach children different languages when they are young. It’s never too early for your child to begin learning one - or several - foreign languages. Below, we outline how learning a foreign language sets your child up for success in the future.

Benefits of Learning a Foreign Language as a Child

Cognitive Advancement

Learning a foreign language has been linked to several cognitive benefits. Researchers who studied bilingual children found that, compared to their monolingual peers, had better problem-solving and critical thinking skills, more creativity, improved memory, better multi-tasking abilities, and better flexibility of mind.

By teaching your child a foreign language from a young age, you provide an opportunity to develop powerful cognitive benefits that will help them to succeed not only academically, but in their future careers.

Linguistic Skills

Contrary to popular belief, learning a foreign language does not confuse children or inhibit their linguistic growth in their native language. In fact, research has found that children who study a foreign language perform better in their native language than their peers that only speak one language.

Learning grammatical structures in foreign languages helps your child improve their grammar in their native language. These language skills can also be applied to languages beyond a second language, as the pathways built when learning a second language can make it easier to pick up third, fourth, and even fifth languages.

Career and Salary Boost

In a globalized workforce, speaking one or more foreign languages will help broaden your child’s career opportunities. Combined with a STEAM education, foreign language fluency can help broaden your child’s future career opportunities, both for multi-national companies at home and foreign companies abroad.

In addition to increased job prospects, speaking a foreign language may translate to a salary boost as well. An MIT economist calculated that American college graduates who speak a second language have a 2% higher salary than their monolingual peers.

Empathy Increase

Learning a foreign language also introduces children to new vocabulary, grammatical structures, and can even provide cultural education. As a result, bilingual children have been found to perform better on tests that require them to consider someone’s opinion to understand their meaning.

The empathy and cultural understanding that children learn from studying a foreign language can help them in all aspects of their life, from playing at school to understanding their peers in the workplace.

How Stratford School Supports Foreign Language Acquisition

Learning languages can provide an academic edge for your child in school, and a competitive advantage once they enter the workforce.

Stratford School can help facilitate your child’s path to becoming bilingual by incorporating Spanish lessons into all our programs, from pre-kindergarten to 8th grade.  Learn more about the foreign language offerings at Stratford School by scheduling a tour of our facilities.