My granddaughter is 17 months old. She is constantly mimicking new sounds.
I’m used to singing her : hello how are you and old Mc Donald had a farm. She tries to repeat the sounds she memorizes best and when she wants me to sing hello how are you she begins to move her body to dance and she sings hello…. You.
Learning a foreign language goes far beyond the simple fact to ask for one’s way or ask for a cup of coffee abroard.
So, why should your child learn a foreign language?
An increasing number of parents are inscribing their little kids in foreign –language classes.
In fact, research published in Psychological Science underlines that people who are simply thinking in a foreign language are more likely to make better and faster decisions in their lives.
In addition a study by the College Entrance Examination Board reports a direct link between foreign language study and high SAT scores.
(SAT : Scholastic Assessment Test) is a national test used for admission in college.
People who speak a foreign language have better careers and higher standard of living.
And there are even health benefits : a recent study from the University of Chicago suggests that a second language also helps prevent dementia later in life.
At what age should kids start to learn a foreign language?
Experts say : the younger the better
A child is born with the ability to learn any language in the world. When the child gets older certain windows vanish in term of language acquisition.
So, the sooner the better. Actually as soon as they begin to mimick the sounds they hear.
How do you know which language is best for your child?
Generally parents choose a language which is already in the family. That means that the mother, the father, grandparents or another relative speaks the language. It is very important because it gives the kid a real-life experience to use the language and gain confidence.
If it is not the case, below are the 5 foreign languages experts feel will best benefit kids for their futures.
If your main language is English…
As the second most common language in the US with 34 million speakers, Spanish is a common choice for parents. It’s also one of the easiest foreign languages for English speakers to learn. Much of the Spanish vocabulary is similar to English and Spanish is a phonetic language which means that words are pronounced as they are written.
With China’s vast population, her growing economy experts recommend learning Mandarin Chinese, the main spoken dialect. It sounds like a song which is a tool regularly used in teaching young kids.
The written characters look like pictures which will help kids who are visual learners
This language is outpacing French in the US because for many parents giving a better comprehension of their Italian heritage is the main reason for enrollment in Italian language schools.
Germany is the 4 th strongest economy and the number one export nation in the world. Because English is a Germanic language many words are similar but not pronounced the same. Thus German can be an easier language to learn for English speaking kids .
1 million Americans speak French making it the 4 th most common language in the US.“if you want a language for international business, politics or travel, French is the best” Pablo Solomon says (he is consultant to the US department of Education).