Students who study foreign languages tend to score better on standardised tests than their monolingual peers, particularly in the categories of maths, reading, and vocabulary.
You build multitasking skills
Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing, and structure. According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this “juggling” skill makes them good multitaskers, because they can easily switch between different structures. In one study, participants used a driving simulator while doing separate, distracting tasks at the same time. The research found that people who spoke more than one language made fewer errors in their driving.
You stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia
Several studies have been conducted on this topic, and the results are consistent. For monolingual adults, the mean age for the first signs of dementia is 71.4. For adults who speak two or more languages, the mean age for those first signs is 75.5. Studies considered factors such as education level, income level, gender, and physical health, but the results were consistent.
Your memory improves
Educators often liken the brain to a muscle, because it functions better with exercise. Learning a language involves memorising rules and vocabulary, which helps strengthen that mental “muscle.” This exercise improves overall memory, which means that multiple language speakers are better at remembering lists or sequences. Studies show that bilinguals are better at retaining shopping lists, names, and directions.
You become more perceptive
A study from Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra revealed that multilingual people are better at observing their surroundings. They are more adept at focusing on relevant information and editing out the irrelevant. They’re also better at spotting misleading information. Is it any surprise that Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot are skilled polyglots?
Your decision-making skills improve
According to a study from the University of Chicago, bilinguals tend to make more rational decisions. Any language contains nuance and subtle implications in its vocabulary, and these biases can subconsciously influence your judgment. Bilinguals are more confident with their choices after thinking it over in the second language and seeing whether their initial conclusions still stand up.
You improve your English
Learning a foreign language draws your focus to the mechanics of language: grammar, conjugations, and sentence structure. This makes you more aware of language, and the ways it can be structured and manipulated. These skills can make you a more effective communicator and a sharper editor and writer. Language speakers also develop a better ear for listening, since they’re skilled at distinguishing meaning from discreet sounds.
Anne Merritt is an EFL lecturer currently based in South Korea. She writes at http://annemerritt.com/
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Learning a foreign language at primary school has become a growing trend in many countries in the world. Just as a coin has two sides, early childhood foreign language learning also has its own advantages and disadvantages. This essay will discuss the benefits and disadvantages of learning a foreign language soon.
It is clear that learning a foreign language at primary school brings children two particular advantages. Firstly, young children learn a language faster. They are enthusiastic to explore and learn new things. In addition, they pick up the pronuciation better and enjoy copying and learning through games. Secondly, nowadays, foreign languages are just as impotant as maths. Learning a foreign helps children have better education and job opportunities.
Besides the benefits, early learning a foreign language also has some posible disadvantages. Firstly, children need to concentrate on learning their mother tongue rather than learning a foreign language. Learning a new language at an early age may be confusing and wastes time. This learning may delay development of the child’s first language. The second disadvantage of early learning a foreign language is primary school teachers may be not well trained to teach a foreign language.
In conclution, there are some particular advantanges and disadvantage of learning a new foreign language at the early age. However, in my opinion, learning a foreign language at primary school is more benefical than disadvantage. So, I will also let my child learn a foreign language from a young age.