Guest Post: Toddlers Learning to Speak in Many Languages |Building Our Story Yum

Monday, October 24, 2011

Guest Post: Toddlers Learning to Speak in Many Languages

Article submitted by Kathleen Thomas on behalf of Primrose Schools 

 The job market is tight right now, and all current studies indicate that the market will be even more competitive in another twenty years. Even in the current job environment, a high school diploma doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to. Most jobs now want a bachelor’s degree, if not a master’s degree. Everyone is looking for something that will give them an edge, and they’re also looking for ways to help their children prepare for the ever changing future. Teaching your child a second language can help him or her prepare for a highly competitive job market.

 Global Society 
We truly are part of a global society. Many of our products are coming out of China. Borders are slowly dissolving and there is an ever-growing demand for people who are fully bilingual. Whether you feel that the predominant language in twenty years will be Spanish or Mandarin, the fact is that people who are bilingual will have a marked advantage in their job search over people who are limited to one language. The best time to start teaching your child a second, or even a third, language is when they are just starting to learn their first language. 

 Teaching your child 
There was a time when second languages weren’t introduced until high school. However, research has consistently shown that young children are like sponges and have an incredible ability to learn new languages. It is currently believed that the best time for people to learn a second language is actually when they are in preschool. While a second or third language can be learned at any age, the best time to learn multiple languages is during the preschool years when the brain is the most malleable. 

 Dr. Fred Genessee is a professor of Psychology at McGill University in Montreal. He reports that young children can learn two or even three languages as easily as they learn one. In fact, there are countries around the world that have known this fact for decades and routinely teach their young children multiple languages. Children have an incredible ability to learn and will pick up and understand a new language much faster than most adults can. 

 The best way to learn any language is through total immersion. When children hear the language throughout the day, associating the words with actions and objects becomes easy. Anyone who has visited another country and spent a few weeks constantly reading and hearing that language will attest to how effective full immersion is. People who have traveled to other countries with young children are usually astonished at how much of the language their children are able to learn in a short time. 

 Look for an educational preschool program that offers multiple languages in an immersion program. This will help get your child started as he learns new languages. The additional expense for this program will prove to be a true investment in your child's future. Raising a child who knows multiple languages will prove to be the greatest gift you have ever given her.

Thank you to Kathleen for your great article on Preschool Education.  If you would like more information about Primrose Schools or just about education for Toddlers in general please let me know and I will connect you to Kathleen.  

Primrose Schools Website 

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