There are many reasons for people to be interested in learning a second language. Many may need it to work with a diverse group of people, some are learning it because of the career opportunities available with it, and others are learning it just so they can have a wide variety of communication.
The ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience is a unique skill that not many have. This includes bilingual ability, especially with the culture that we are a part of now a days.
The Bilingual Future
One of the future trends that has become certain is the existence of a diverse, global society.
It's almost a necessity to be able to speak another language. So why not start with your child?
Typically children begin learning a second language starting in middle school, or in some cases in high school. However research has shown that this teaching can begin at their child care facilities and when they start to have homeschooling instruction. It been shown through many studies that the optimal period in a child's life for multilingual education is during the preschool years – at exactly the same time they are learning their first language.
Yes, it is possible to learn a second and third language later in life, but it is more difficult, because that neurological "window of opportunity" – when the brain is most malleable – has passed. Many believe that it's actually just as easy for young children to learn two or even three languages as it is for them to learn one.
How to Start the Process
The most effective way for a child to learn a second language is when their instructor is deeply involved with the process. The best results come when a child is in a total immersion environment. Be active with them in the learning process, take them to a cultural event that highlights the language they're learning. Don't just teach them about the cultural habits, food, music and traditions that the language includes, feature it in your teachings!
Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Texas child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools.