Summer and the school vacations are approaching. If you have children, nephews or small neighbors, this post can change their lives! You must have heard that it is highly recommended that children start learning a foreign language because it will be easier and more natural for them. This time it brings you a must-read post about the 5 advantages for a child to learn a language.
The 5 advantages for children when learning a foreign language
1. They can acquire clear and fluent pronunciation more easily
Pronunciation is a matter of habit, which is why it is more difficult for an adult to acquire the pronunciation of a foreign language since this requires articulating sounds that are different from those of the mother tongue. For example: looked, throughout, I’ve just decided, among others. This is why children are more likely to acquire pronunciation and accents more naturally, since they do not yet have fixed habits and are more flexible.
2. They have more hours of practice to practice, develop and perfect.
Some researchers compare children to a sponge: ready to absorb because they have time and physical and mental space. On the contrary, adult life is hectic and eclectic, and much more so in these times.
A “grown-up” has several responsibilities assumed and this is a distraction in the learning process. If you are an adult: when you are in class, learn to disconnect from the outside world (that includes your cell phone) and focus on the classroom, your peers and the content that the teacher is developing.
3. Learn as you play.
Nowadays societies are in a process of radical transformation. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, the importance of leisure and entertainment in life has been confirmed. No more “multi-tasking” or “achievement culture”. To be more productive and happy at the same time, it is important to play and rest. Children know this well and therefore it is necessary that their learning processes are done in a fun way and with communication according to their age.
The objective is that they do not see it as a routine or another task. Having an adequate methodology brings a great advantage that has been commented on by educators and teachers all over the world: children learn better when they play.
4. They have more tolerance to frustration, since everything counts as new learning.
When have you ever heard a child say “I don’t want to look bad” or “wow, what will the teacher say about me”? Childhood also has its great advantages over fears and frustrations, since for them, who are still in the stage of exploring the world, making mistakes is part of learning. They will test all their acquired knowledge without fear or concern about mistakes.
Curiously, this way of seeing the world is very necessary nowadays and strengthening their capacities will greatly improve their self-esteem and self-confidence.
5. In learning, family and friends also count.
It is very important for children to be able to talk and play with other children their age. In addition, they receive various influences in the early stage of learning, whether from their parents, teachers, uncles, friends, etc. Therefore, the more exposure to a foreign language they can naturally receive, the more easily they will get used to that new language. Learning through books, games, videos, songs and more allows for the reinforcement of all acquired knowledge.
In conclusion, when it comes to children:
1.) It is very likely that they will develop natural and fluent pronunciation.
2.) Play and movement are fundamental.
3.) Exposure through the family is basic. The teacher will never replace the work and environment that should be encouraged at home.
4.) Time and space are available for practice (but be aware that time to rest is also necessary).
5) If you enroll them, be sure that we take all of the above into consideration.
It is very important to emphasize that learning language at an early age is done with a methodology that is adequate and specialized for a child, that fits his or her vision of the world and his or her social needs.
These 5 reasons should not be understood as “youngsters and adults will not learn a language well”. In fact, we can all do it if we put effort and perseverance, but if we had to choose in which moment of our lives we are going to learn a language, the best option will always be the sooner the better.
And one more little pearl: if you are an adult you have the great advantage of abstract thinking, so you can acquire a more complex language (children do not write essays, for example) and even learn on your own. Use your intellectual maturity, integrate it with the freshness of children, you will learn quickly and in an entertaining way.