Arm your child with a second language



By Tiernan McKay

In our competitive world, a lot of parents want to give their children every possible advantage in life. If you’re one of them, perhaps you should consider teaching your child a second language.

A recent study published by Child Development reveals that kids who speak more than one language can switch between tasks more easily than monolingual kids — and that’s not the only benefit.

Author Tiernan McKay goes on to give some excellent detailed information on the benefits of “Multi-tasking” and “Finely-tuned ears” before turning her attention to the benefits of bilingual children being more focused.


It may seem logical to believe that kids who have multiple language skills may process information more slowly or have difficulty communicating clearly but just the opposite is true. “Studies show that children who are bilingual or multilingual perform better in other academic areas and adjust to new situations more easily later in life,” says Caryn Antonini, a mom of two and founder of the Early Lingo Series for children. “These children statistically earn higher scores in SATs (both math and verbal), show significant gains in IQ performance, and exhibit advanced mental flexibility and superiority in concept formation compared to their monolingual counterparts.”

Make it happen

“The best strategy is to start as early as possible.”

A lot of parents are hesitant to teach their kids a second language, especially if they are monolingual, but it can be done! The best strategy is to start as early as possible. “Within the first six months of life, babies babble using 70 different sounds which make up all the languages of the world,” says Antonini. “There are different windows of opportunity in language learning, but truly the best time to learn for a child is before puberty when after that point it becomes much more difficult to learn to speak as a native speaker.” There are many teaching opportunities to choose from including formal full-immersion programs, DVDs, online programs and private tutoring. Regardless of which you choose, the gift of a second language will be worth the effort.

This is an excellent article for anyone who would like to learn more about the benefits of teaching your child a second language. To view this article in its complete version, please visit She Knows PARENTING’s original article “Arm your child with a second language” by Tiernan McKay.