There’s the right time for many things in life, mama.
The right time take down your Christmas decorations (sometime before March)
The right time to eat a perfectly ripe avocado (blink and you’ll miss it)
The right time to wear yoga pants (which is actually all the time...whether you do yoga or not)
There’s also the right time to start teaching your child a language…..and it’s right now!
In fact, cognitive scientists have even gone and figured out an exact window of time during which your child’s capacity for language learning is at its peak.
The Perfect Window Of Opportunity - According To Science
Your child is unique, all our children are!
But what they do have in common is an innate ability to learn, learn, learn. Those minds are like little sponges and cognitive scientists have identified there is definitely a key window of opportunity to learn a new language.
A 2018 language study conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of more than 670,000 people of different nationalities and ages suggested the best time to learn a new language - if the goal is to reach native-speaking proficiency - is by the age of 10.
While beginning before they hit those double digits gives your child the best chance of reaching native-speaking proficiency, getting started later is still better than never! Besides, your child doesn’t ‘have’ to become fluent benefit from a second-language.
The study, based on the largest dataset ever assembled for a language-learning study, also noted that children remain “very skilled” at learning the grammar of a new language until around 17 or 18.
Whether you’re at the start, smack bang in the middle or even it you’ve kinda missed the exact window of opportunity, here are a few great reasons to start teaching your child a second language now.
Anyone who’s learnt a second language as an adult will agree that making mistakes - especially in social situations - can be #awkward and frustrating.
“Eating cow - good!” doesn’t quite translate to “That was a great steak!” the way you hoped it would, right?
A few errors like that and we adults put on our self-conscious pants. This means we usually speak less for fear of making a mistake ...seriously stifling the learning process.
Young kids skip the awkwardness.
They’re simply experimenting with that language as a natural part of their development and aren’t afraid to get it wrong. They just keep working towards getting it right.
The earlier you get started, the more time your child will have to reap the benefits of some awesome life skills that come with learning a second language -
I’m sure most of us want to raise confident kids! Learning a new language can really give them the feeling of accomplishment and high fives all round as they learn new words and sentences.
This builds the kind of confidence to try new things and the sense of achieving goals that will stick with them throughout life.
Strengthen decision making skills
Ice cream flavour decision making #belike:
Chocolate Hazelnut or Butterscotch?
Or… Chocolate Hazelnut with Butterscotch sprinkles?
Or.. Butterscotch with a side of Chocolate Hazelnut?
If you want your kids to make better decisions (or at least quicker ones at the ice cream counter) learning a second language may help. Research indicates that knowing a second language can improve decision making skills.
In a study by the University of Mashhad, a group of bilinguals were compared with their monolingual counterparts on the universally recognised Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT).
Bilinguals were the creative winners! The results showed that they performed better than monolingual in all aspects of the TTCT measurements.
Ok, so your child’s first proper job might be more than a decade away BUT why not begin by setting them up for more future career options starting now?
Just think about how globalised the workforce is today...now imagine how much more interconnected and interdependent industries and roles will be a decade from now!
According to Ethnologue (as of December 2019) the top 5 most spoken languages are:
Choosing to learn a language spoken by so many people around the world can open up professional doors down the track.
Teaching a second language to your kids (or learning it with them) when they’re little is such a beautiful opportunity to create a family activity that gets richer as time goes on.
As your child’s language skills progress and they get older, activities and learning experiences can grow with them.
I mean, just imagine if you started teaching your toddler Italian with a few new words starting right now. In their teenage years, the two of you could be travelling together to see the Colosseum, eating yourselves silly with pizza in Napoli and gelato in Florence all while speaking fluent Italian.
How freakin’ awesome would that be mama?
....especially the part about unlimited pizza...pack those yoga pants!
Simply fill out your first name and email address and within a few minutes you can be playing your way to fluency with your little ones!