When Should Your Child Learn a Second Language?

The question “When should your child learn a second language” can easily be answered with “as soon as possible”. Children can develop language skills already from birth and learn a second language together with their first language

Learning a second language is often a difficult task. People speak their native tongue from childhood and will likely experience problems when they try to learn a second one if they wait too long. They think in their native tongue and try to translate words to form sentences in a second language. The result can be terrible and people may not understand what you are trying to say.

The question “When should your child learn a second language” can easily be answered with “as soon as possible”. Children can develop language skills already from birth and learn a second language together with their first language. It is essential they hear on a daily basis speaking in both languages. It may be a good idea if one parent speaks in English and the other one in another language. It is not always evident to raise your child in that way. It is only possible if both parents speak perfectly two languages or if both have another native tongue.

Learning a second language is for children easier than for adults. There are also other benefits in learning a second language as child. They often reach better results in school and are more open for other cultures. Understanding and speaking more than one language will help children to communicate with people from all places over the world.

However, learning a second language from birth can be considered as the best way to acquire two languages; it is perfect possible to learn a second language after a child has established one language. The path to success is more difficult and children will make more mistakes before they succeed to completely speak and understand a second language. It is often said children should learn a second language before the age of 10; otherwise you will always hear the difference with someone who has this language as native tongue.

It is often also a good idea to send your child to a school where they speak another language than his/her native tongue. For example; if you raised your child speaking English you can best send your child to a school where they speak another language. Your child will learn to think in this new language and will not translate word by word phrases in the second language.

Another good idea is to send your child during the holidays to a foreign country where they only speak another language than his/her native tongue. It is more useful than learning a second language from a DVD, CD or any other media where they need to repeat words and learn the vocabulary, spelling and grammar of this language.

Your child should learn a second language as soon as possible to get more insight in the structure of other languages. Some words are common in different languages and children who know already a second language understand easier some other languages. They have fewer difficulties than people who speak and understand only one language. The pronunciation will likely be different but they will faster learn a third or even a fourth language and improve their overall skills.

Learning a second language from childhood has many benefits and they experience fewer problems while traveling. If you speak different languages you can easier communicate with people from other countries. You can read books in different languages and have more insight in other cultures. The Internet offers you the benefit to make more friends from all places of the world. They can communicate with them and easier maintain and improve language skills.

Learning a second language as soon as possible opens the doors to other cultures more rapidly and result in showing more respect to other people, no matter race, religion and other culture differences. You will likely also get more job opportunities. Many companies search employees who speak and understand perfectly different languages.

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