Every parent wants the best for their baby especially when it comes to their education but we understand that with so many options to consider this isn’t an easy decision to make. Which curriculum should they follow? Which type of school is best for them? Should they be educated in more than one language? Even at an early stage, the path you choose for your child will likely have a significant impact on their future, so it’s understandable that parents feel the weight of the world on their shoulders.
There are loads of reasons why increasing numbers of parents are considering a bilingual education for their children. Perhaps you speak more than one language at home and feel it would be useful for the child to learn both languages or maybe the motivation is driven by the belief that future generations will benefit from speaking more than one language especially as the world becomes more globalized.
Here are some of the main advantages of bilingual education:
Numerous studies have shown that bilingual education improves brain functions. When children are exposed to more than one language from a young age it develops certain important skills such including the ability to switch attention between different areas, working memory and the inhibition function. While children may be stronger in one language than the other, bilingual students often have the ability to switch between the two quite easily.
A major advantage of having your child attend a bilingual nursery is that they will not only be able to speak two languages but they will also be able to develop the ability to read and write in those languages too. Looking to the future, this will open up numerous opportunities for them when it comes to studying abroad at the tertiary level. Furthermore, being fluent in a second language will allow for more enjoyable travel experiences by adding further depth to their interactions.
As we are all well aware, our world is globalising at a rapid rate. International companies operating in multiple countries look for employees that are bilingual and those with a formal education in more than one language will have that edge over their peers. While speaking more than one language always holds value, those like Spanish, French and Mandarin that are widely spoken can be particularly useful.
Truly bilingual education isn’t simply about the rote learning of vocabulary and grammar, it’s about being exposed to a different culture too. Bilingual schools provide context to language learning by teaching the children about other countries and cultures for instance through the celebration of certain key festivals. Having the ability and opportunity to be immersed in another culture fosters a broader outlook and allows the child to interact with other communities in a meaningful way. You’ll find that intercultural communication is a highly valued skill in an increasingly globalised world.
A significant benefit of sending your child to a bilingual nursery or international school is that it will allow them to interact with people from a broad range of different backgrounds. Exposing kids to foreign cultures encourages understanding and tolerance. It also teaches them to be open-minded and curious which is a great attribute to incorporate into their personal lives.
Of course, raising bilingual children is going to be a bit of a learning process for parents too. Language learning is a skill that needs to be nurtured not only at school but it can also be fostered in more organic ways at home. While there will certainly be challenges when it comes to studying in multiple languages, the efforts of all parties (students, teachers and parents) will be rewarded as the child grows up and flourishes in our ever-globalising world.
Find Out More About The Bilingual Education Experience At Hatching Dragons: