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Children learning Spanish. What is the advantage?

20 Feb 2012
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“Learning multiple languages at a young age can enhance your child’s overall intellectual and emotional development” from the book Raising a Bilingual Child – Ph. D. Barbara Zurer Pearson.

According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages among other benefits learning languages can benefit the development of problem solving abilities, memory skills and reading abilities. Learning a second language at an early age….

  • Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
  • Enriches and enhances a child’s mental development.
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • Improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.
  • Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know.
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • Gives a student a head start in language requirements for college.
  • Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.

The early children start the better. There are many different ways to learn a foreign language whether you speak the language yourself or not. If you don’t speak the language you can:

*attend classes for adults and bring home what you have learn you can then share it with your family.

*learn with your child. You can attend classes with your child or take your child to classes for children. It is always very rewarding for both the child and the parent/s to start the learning process together. Learning a language is not an easy task, not even for children so it is very important to have the support from parents, grandparents and teachers. Make sure that the course you choose is fun and taught by a qualified teacher.

You can also learn Spanish at home in your own time. Children enjoy learning in a fun and friendly way. There are thousands of resources available – books, flashcards, websites – but they can be costly. Learning a language (Spanish) doesn’t have to be expensive. Try to create/make your own material to work at home, your child will love the chance to create his own Spanish resources – you might even find the artist in you! You can create your own flashcards with magazines,  for example. Another idea: think about games that they like and research the vocabulary to play it in Spanish – hide and seek (good to practise numbers), for instance. If you decide to learn Spanish at home together make a weekly time to do it and see how your child enjoys and learns with you.


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