We live in an instant gratification world. With the rise of the Internet, mobile phones and social media, it’s easy to expect instant results. Fortunately (or unfortunately) foreign language enrichment doesn’t quite work that way. Learning a world language is a lifelong pursuit and unlike some other enrichment opportunities, your child will reap the benefits well into adulthood.
Bilingualism provides a significant career advantage
A recent study conducted by Northern Illinois University reports that in five years, almost half of the state’s regional employers will prioritize hiring college graduates who communicate effectively in more than one language. In that same report, 71.1% of employers think hiring recent college graduates who are bilingual will increase customer/client satisfaction or retention of customers/clients. Bottom line, companies recognize the value of bilingual speakers. Your young learner will have a significant career advantage once they become fluent in a world language.
A world language primes your child to understand different perspectives
Science has proven bilingualism literally changes the way your mind forms and frames your perceptions. Knowing a second language allows your brain to explore different perspectives while going back and forth in each language. Think of it this way, you can listen to music through your computer or a record player. Both sources provide music, but your listening experience will be dramatically different depending on the source. It works the same way with language.
Language enrichment provides a lifetime of health benefits
Just like vitamins or eating your daily serving of vegetables, language enrichment can improve your child’s health. As new neural pathways form, bilingual learners literally see growth in their brain size. Perhaps this explains a recent study that found people who actively use two languages seem to have a protective effect against age-related dementia.