Australia is one of the most multilingual countries in the world – with its diverse population speaking over 300 languages. Especially in today’s interconnected world, being proficient in other languages is a vital skill that better equips students to engage with the world, as well as sharpening their own intellectual abilities.
Here are 5 benefits of learning another language.
- It improves memory
Learning another language helps to improve a child’s memory. A recent study from the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology found that children who spoke another language performed much better than monolingual children in tasks using their working memory.
If you think your child would benefit from a better working memory in his or her education, then learning another language may prove to be an effective solution.
- It enhances decision-making
Becoming multilingual also helps your child to become more aware. A US study found that people who are multilingual have greater ability to pick up nuances and subtleties in any given situation. Being aware of the complexities of a situation can help a child to make more rational decisions. People who are monolingual, on the other hand, tend to base their decisions more on emotions.
- It increases attention span
According to a study in the Brain and Language journal, learning a second language helps a child to focus and deal with distractions more effectively. A multilingual child will be used to switching between different languages and considering which one is appropriate to use – giving the brain plenty of practice to focus and filter information.
- It supports better multi-tasking
Learning another language also improves one’s ability to multitask. Because multilinguals have better working memories, they can better focus their attention, ignore distractions, and switch between tasks quickly and easily. Being able to ‘juggle’ makes them good multitaskers as they can easily go form one structure to another.
- It is beneficial in a global world
By learning a new language, a child will open themselves up to a new culture as they become more flexible and appreciative of the opinions and actions of other people. Students who are multilingual benefit from being able to see the world from different perspectives, as well as having a greater ability to communicate in today’s global world.
Becoming multilingual will benefit a child significantly. Have your son or daughter pick a language or a culture they find interesting and encourage them to join a class or even learn the language online.
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