There is a preponderance of evidence that points to the benefits of children learning English as a second language. However, choosing to raise a bilingual child is something that requires a great deal of thought, preparation, and time. As a result, it is a decision that is very personal and will affect the child's life for years to come. The following paragraphs will explain the benefits of children learning English as a second language and how online English courses provide what other programs may lack.
According to "The Sociopolitics of English Language Teaching" by Joan Kelly Hall and William G. Eggington, "Individuals who speak English gain a concrete economic advantage. English provides increased educational and employment opportunities.
By encouraging children to learn English as a second language early on, we are setting them up for a number of advantages that will carry out through the rest of their lives.
However, the benefits of learning English reach beyond economic, educational, and employment advantages. It also increases a child's linguistic abilities because bilingual children are better able to comprehend the complexities associated with a particular language's meaning and grammar. Since some words across various languages share a similar pronunciation and vocabulary, the connection is made for children early on and makes learning a new language more attainable. In addition, children who learn English as a second language are able to expand their vocabulary across both languages at a faster rate than their mono-linguistic peers.
Due to the expanded vocabulary and thorough understanding of multiple language structures, it is believed that these children are also able to function on a more creative level, experience increased attention levels with the ability to block out distractions, exhibit superior reaction time, and prevent the decline of cognitive reasoning later in life. It is believed that the areas of the brain that are involved in understanding and communicating in two languages on a consistent basis are the same areas of the brain that are affected in most forms of cognitive reasoning. As this area of the brain is strengthened, the bilingual child is able to develop at a faster and improved rate as compared to mono-linguistic individuals.
Bilingual children also develop enhanced social skills. Social interaction is a critical part of our lives and affects the quality of life within society, educationally, and professionally. As a child learns another language and culture they become more deeply integrated into the community, and as they progress through life they are able to communicate at a higher level on all levels. As the child looks back and remembers the challenges that they faced while learning English, they are able to relate to the sensitive issues and struggles that other people who speak less well encounter. This commonality gives the bilingual individual a sense of compassion for others. In addition, bilingual individuals are generally more balanced and comfortable in a multi-cultural environment.
There are numerous benefits of raising a bilingual child. Some of these include: economic, educational, and employment advantages as well as increased linguistic and creative abilities, improved attention levels with the ability to block out distractions, better reaction time, enhanced social skills, and prevention of the declination of cognitive reasoning later in life.
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