5 benefits of teaching young children English
Hi, Mom and Dad,
I am sure most of you know the importance of English fluency for your children and how it will benefit them in the future.
Yet, we still hear a lot of negative comments, like…
They’ll get confused if you teach two languages while they’re still so young!
What are you teaching them English for? Don’t act kebule-bulean or keminggris!
And so on…
First of all, let me just say that you’re already taking the right direction in teaching your children English!
There will always be haters out there so just take a deep breath and tune them out!
In today’s article, I am going to talk about why it is important that children learn English. Of course, you can learn English at any age, but learning English as a child is just easier and you’re setting your children up for success!
So, without further ado, let’s find out why you should teach your children English!
1. The golden age
From infancy to the age of 5, children are in a period known as the “golden age.” During this time, children have the unique ability to learn and understand languages with ease. This is due to the rapid development of their brain’s nerves. In fact, one study discovered that two-year-olds have twice the number of synapses (part of the circuit that connects sensory organs) as adults. The synapses are responsible for the process of learning and memorizing!
During the golden age, children can learn and acquire languages as quickly as motor skills. Learning, memorizing, and pronouncing new words is as easy as learning how to walk or jump! This does not apply only for a second language, but even for a third language!
The thing is, babies and toddlers are exceptionally good at hearing, so they can listen to, memorise, and mimic different sounds, words, languages, and accents with perfect accuracy!
Therefore, it is easier to learn a language as an infant or a toddler than it is to learn a language later in life. Many linguists argue that the baby’s brain is already programmed to learn a language. This means that it is natural for human beings to talk just like birds sing.
2. Develop and nurture children’s curiosity
Learning a foreign language means you’re also learning a whole new culture too!
Suppose you’re teaching your children English through a story book.
Your children might be curious about things in the book that are different from what they already know, or perhaps they learn something new in the book.
Maybe they are curious, why does the town in the book have snow? Why isn’t there snow here?
Or perhaps, they might be curious about why the children in the book go to school by bus.
Being curious and asking questions is good!
Curiosity is an inherent characteristic of being human. However, oftentimes this natural curiosity fades, giving place to a more rigid outlook.
So, learning English can help not only develop but also nurture your children’s curiosity.
This will serve them well in the long run! Curiosity helps them to think critically and be open-minded, inquisitive, and tolerant. It will also ignite a lifelong passion for learning!
3. Boost children’s cognitive functions
It is well documented that speaking multiple languages has a lot of perks for one’s brain.
The first major benefit is related to what is generally referred to as “executive function.” Executive function is essentially the most “human” part of our brain. This is what differentiates us from animals. It refers to your capacity to regulate, direct, and manage your attention, as well as your ability to plan.
It also assists you in ignoring extraneous information and concentrating on what is important.
Because a bilingual person has command of two languages and the languages are activated automatically and subconsciously, the individual is continuously controlling language interference so that she or he does not say the wrong thing in the wrong language at the wrong time.
What does this mean in practice?
The benefits of learning a language will spread to other areas too! Your children will:
- Have better academic performance
- Have more creativity
- Have a strong memory
- Have an improved communication skills
- Have improved concentration
Not only that, being bilingual is also shown to delay Alzheimer’s disease and dementia! Impressive, right?
4. Develop children’s empathy
Huh? What is the connection between learning English and empathy? Is there even any?
Well, look at it this way…
Language is an essential part of being human. Mastering a language doesn’t just mean knowing all the rules of grammar. It’s wayyyy more than that!
Mastering a language is what allows us humans to connect with each other by sharing our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Empathy, to put it simply, is the ability to sense and understand other people’s emotions and the ability to put ourselves in their shoes,
Of course, there are many skill sets that we have to learn to develop our empathy, but essentially, it can be broken down to simple practices, many of which include listening, connecting, and understanding. In order to execute these simple practices well, language is needed.
As I mentioned in the earlier point, to learn a language means to learn a whole new culture.
In today’s globalized world, it’s important for children to grow up to be citizens of the world and be able to communicate in a language which is for the most part universally understood. They’ll learn to respect different ways of thinking, cultures, and practice empathy with whoever they interact with.
Language learning is not an isolated subject that is separate from the real world; it is part of truly being an empathic and understanding global citizen.
5. Develop children’s confidence
Children who speak two or more languages often have more confidence than their peers.
For many children, there’s a sense of accomplishment that comes with being bilingual.
Think about it. When your children learn English in a positive setting, they will feel proud of their achievement and this positive emotion serves to reinforce their interest in learning.
And here’s the kicker: self-esteem positively influences learning comprehension!
So, the two are closely related! By teaching our children English, we are setting them up to be confident and competent learners!
Of course, there are many benefits that come with being confident! So, let’s nurture our children’s confidence by teaching them English!
To quote the poet Edward Etlin Cummings, ““Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit”.
In today’s article, we’ve discussed the benefits of teaching English and bilingualism in young children. From setting them up for success in academic settings as well as raising them to be emotionally intelligent, the benefits are endless! The confidence acquired through being bilingual just spreads to other areas of children’s lives and really serves them well for their future.
Do you want your child to speak with confidence and fluency?
So many children in Indonesia lack confidence when they speak English. They are worried about making mistakes and are embarrassed to speak in front of others. This is because they have been taught English the wrong way!
At IELC, we teach English the right way so your child can express themselves with confidence and fluency. Whether it’s online or on campus, we create positive learning environment where your child will feel warm and welcome, where they can learn and have fun at the same time.
The best English course for kids in Indonesia
With so many courses available, it can be confusing to know which course to choose.
With an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from more than 300 reviewers on Google Review, IELC is the highest ranked best English language course in Indonesia.
We teach English the right way so that your child gain confidence and fluency.
With these skills, they can unlock their potential and fulfill their dreams!
Our experienced teachers will guide your child along every step of the learning process to ensure the best learning outcome.
As Indonesia’s #1 English Campus, we offer great courses for kids, teens, and adults:
- Online courses for kids
- Online courses for teens
- Online courses for adults
- On campus courses for kids
- On campus courses for teens
- On campus courses for adults
Whether it’s online or on campus, we will help your child gain the skills they need for their future. Contact us to start your child’s journey towards confidence and fluency today!
IELC Managing Director
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