How Learning Other Languages Develops Children’s Brains
I believe in teaching another language to children to develop their minds. Learning languages helps children’s brains to evolve and acquire skills which permit children to succeed in school.
When I arrived in the United States, I found a barrier: A different language. I had never thought that it was important to learn to speak another language until I had to live in a country where people speak a distinct language. From that moment, I decided my children needed to learn to speak English when they were born. I became obsessed with that. When my oldest son was two years old, he attended an English school in Venezuela. He watched shows in English. He just had English-speaking toys. When we moved to the United States, he was diagnosed with ADHD and he had a speech test which showed his first language was English. That was a surprise for me. In that moment, I had to change my mind. Now, my challenge was strengthening the Spanish, which was supposed to be his mother tongue.
My children have been learning both languages, and I have noted how much it helps them in school. They have developed their literacy skills without struggle. There are many reasons children should learn other languages, but it can be a challenge to maintain discipline in the home to continue learning it.
Learning multiple languages benefits children in several ways. It can help focus their attention on relevant information. Also, they are more creative and better at planning and solving problems. While children are switching between languages, they are able to decode problems more easily. When children read and think in two or more languages, they can elevate their intellectual thought. Socially, they can build trouble-free friendships and share experiences with diverse cultures.
Maintaining discipline to continue learning a different language at home is a hard task. My son does not like Spanish. People always say I can practice English with my kids, but it is not a good option. It would be an advantage for me, but that is an easy way to avoid training them. At home, the rule is we only talk and watch TV shows in Spanish. Every day we try to read interesting Spanish books that we get from the library weekly. Even though it is an arduous routine, they will get big benefits academically and professionally.