Benefits of Learning a Second Language
Studies have shown that multilingual children out perform their monolingual peers in many aspects. Multilingual children have been shown to be better communicators, have heightened cognitive ability, and be better problem solvers. They are more spatially aware, more empathetic, and more flexible in their thinking, and their working memories can sustain greater demands than the memories of children who only speak one language. In addition, they show higher levels of control and can better adapt to both logical problems and complex social situations.
It is crucial for children to learn another language when they are still young. Studies have shown that between the ages of 8 and 12 children lose the ability to learn and produce new sounds: any language learned after this age will be accompanied by a permanent accent. Children’s brains are wired to easily learn new languages, allowing them to develop fluency in any language they are exposed to. Some parents worry that their children might become confused when exposed to multiple languages, and believe that this delays the speech of a child. However, a study done by the University of Washington revealed that babies are able to differentiate between two languages even before they can speak.
The learning of another language is greatly beneficial both in childhood and later in life. Those who are multilingual have better memories and maintain their mental capacity longer than adults who only speak one language. Multilingual children have been found to have higher intelligence, score higher on the SATs, and have better multitasking skills. Being fluent in multiple languages ensures diverse cultural knowledge, and thus bilingual people are able to view issues from different perspectives; this ability is critical when facing issues in our international society. It is crucial to expose our children to other languages during their prime learning stage, because being multilingual provides an edge unattainable to those who only speak one language.
Catiana Celentano, founder of Let’s Play in Italian and the Language and Enrichment Center, a state NJ state licensed non-profit 501c-3 that offers a variety of language and enrichment classes, has been teaching children Italian as a second language since 2005. The fun, interactive curriculum that Celentano created herself has allowed children to develop deep levels of knowledge, love, understanding, and passion for the Italian language. Since opening, Let’s Play in Italian and the Language & Enrichment Center, has become a NJ state licensed multilingual preschool & kindergarten offering full and half day, 9-3pm program with FREE before and aftercare. In addition to the Italian school , starting this fall 2017 the L.E.C will now offer Spanish full and half day preschool and kindergarten. With the help of supportive and patient native Italian and Spanish teachers, children ages 2 ½ to 5 years old will learn not only their ABC’s and 1-2-3’s, but also develop a strong understanding of the chosen language and culture. The preschool and kindergarten is available 5 days a week, and children will be divided into different class levels based on age and skill, similar to a Montessori style of learning. Celentano says, “We believe that each child is unique and has an individual learning strength that we use to our advantage in the small class sizes. Given the immense amount of benefits children gain from learning a second language, why not have them learn Italian or Spanish in a fun and nurturing environment?”
Still not convinced? Check out these great articles on the benefits of learning a second language: The New York Times: Why Bilinguals are Smarter
Visit our website for more information www.langaugeandenrichmentcenter.org or call (908) 322- 5439.