Why I Want My Kids to Speak a Foreign Language
Languages and learning has been a big part of my life for so long that I can hardly remember a time where I wasn’t focused on either learning a new language myself or teaching a new foreign language to my kids.
But it has happened more and more recently where friends, family and other cultured kid parents have started asking me one main question.
Why did I choose languages, to learn new ones as well as to teach new ones to my own kids as well?
I sat for a long while before I could give a real, decent and honest answer to that question and it wasn’t necessarily the straight forward answers that you would expect, so let me tell you about my reasons why I chose this journey of learning and teaching different languages, while helping other parents to be able to do the same.
If I wanted to give a simple answer to this question, I could have simply given the most straight forward answer which relates to all the amazing benefits of teaching your kids a new foreign language at a young age, like:
- Improving their cognitive abilities,
- increasing test scores,
- giving them more advanced social skills and
- increasing IQ scores,
but that would not be the real reason why I chose this life.
Yes sure, all of these reasons are one hundred percent true and more than reason enough to want to start on this journey with your families yourself, but it wasn’t the biggest motivation behind this decision for me.
To give you the full scope of my reasons, I have to take you back many years ago to when I was still a young student at the age of 15.
I had the opportunity to learn the German language, which got me very excited.
Not just because I was learning a new language, but because in my mind it was opening up a whole new world filled with possibilities for me which I would never have had if I didn’t get to learn this new language.
Because after starting this great adventure of learning German, new opportunities started to come up that just blew my mind to how many doors could be opened for you by just learning one new language.
After learning German at school for a few months, I had the opportunity to take part in a student exchange program where I was able to actually go to Germany!
In what world would it be possible for a teenager to go to Germany by herself?
Not only that, but being able to actually communicate with the local people in their own language.
Surely this was not really happening to me. Yet it was, just because I chose this new adventure of learning a new language for myself.
Now I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t slightly terrified of going off on this adventure, but my excitement far outweighed my fear.
Here I was, a 15 year old Australian girl getting on a plain all by myself, flying off to the other side of the world, to a country I had never been to before and where I didn’t know a single person while my whole family stayed behind in Australia.
So of course there was a decent amount of culture shock involved once my feet touched the ground in Germany. I had left Australia in the middle of a very hot summer, just to arrive in Germany for a freezing Christmas. But I didn’t have a single regret so far.
There are hardly words to explain how amazing that experience was for me, how much immersing myself in this completely different culture had changed my view of so many things, including the way I looked at myself and what I wanted out of life and for my future.
Yet it still wasn’t enough. I still wanted to push my own boundaries to see exactly what I was capable of. I still remember telling my host family my plan, where I wanted to get onto a bus, go into the middle of the city and see if I was able to communicate well enough for people to actually understand me, if I was able to get around and do what I wanted to do without any help.
This was a bit of an intimidating thought for a young girl to have off on her own in a foreign country, but I knew the possibilities of what I could achieve and I was definitely going to try and find out how much I could achieve on my own.
Luckily I knew, worst case scenario, if no one understood me well enough, most Germans spoke English as well, but I really wanted to see how far I could get with my German language skills so I hopped on a bus, memorized all of the stops and got off in the middle of the city.
Once I stepped off of that bus, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen before in my life. I was standing in the middle of a massive Christmas market with beautiful lights everywhere, the smell of German sausages and sauerkraut in the air and I was just mesmerized by it all.
To my own surprise, I was able to order one of those amazing sausages in perfect German. Now I know few people will understand why this was such an amazing eye opening moment for me, but that was the moment I truly realized that I was capable of a lot more than I originally thought possible and it just blew my mind.
Now every time a friend asks me about my reasons why, that is the memory that I go back to.
It reminds me of every possible reason why I love to do this, to learn new languages, to teach them to my children and to help other parents teach their kids too. It has changed my life and I know that it will change the lives of my kids too.
It will give them all of these wonderful benefits of better brain function and higher scores, but that’s not the main reason why.
It will open up a whole new world of opportunities for them and shape them into amazing people that know that they are capable of so much more every single day that they choose to do more and to learn more.
I can honestly say that if I never started this journey of learning a new language so many years ago, I don’t think that I would be the same person that I am today.
This experience has shaped the rest of my life in the best and most incredible way, which sparked my love for languages and wanting to help others to be able to reach their full potential as well, to open their eyes and minds to know that they are capable of so much more than they could ever even imagine themselves.
This has made me curious about other people’s reasons for going on this journey with us so I would love to hear what your reasons are.
Let me know in the comments below!
✨ Psst... When you're ready, here are a few ways I can help you get started with teaching your kids a foreign language at home...
1. Download my free 10 Page Guide for Parents to help you see how easy introducing a foreign language at home can be - especially if you don't speak the language at all.
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