Language Stories

Five unexpected benefits of learning a foreign language

Posted by Language Stars on Jan 5, 2018 3:27:51 PM

Why should your child learn a foreign language when English is spoken, or at least partially understood, in many countries around the globe? Learning another language is never a waste of time, but the benefits go well beyond being able to ask for directions to the Gare du Nord in Paris, ordering pasta with confidence in a Roman trattoria or saying hello to a friendly face in Beijing.

When you're visiting another country, knowing the language — even the basics — makes traveling easier, safer and more fun, but there are more compelling reasons to expose your child to a world language at a young age. Here are five unexpected benefits of learning another language.

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language

How sleep can strengthen your child's language skills

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 31, 2017 12:22:24 PM

Everyone knows that sleep helps your body and mind recharge, but research shows the benefits of napping include helping children retain the knowledge they learned throughout the day.

A University of Arizona Child Cognitive Lab study found 3-years-olds who napped after learning new verbs had a better understanding of the words 24 hours later.

"There's a lot of evidence that different phases of sleep contribute to memory consolidation, and one of the really important phases is slow-wave sleep, which is one of the deepest forms of sleep," said study co-author Rebecca Gomez, principal investigator of the Child Cognition Lab. 

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Topics: childhood development, parenting

Movement supports childhood development in the classroom

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 25, 2017 3:21:24 PM

If you're a parent, it comes as no surprise that kids like to move. Whether they are 2 or 12, they just don't want to sit still for too long. That's why it's so surprising that the 21st-century classroom is designed for kids to sit for much of the day.

When kids are sedentary for too long they get distracted, bored and fidgety. As recess and physical education are cut in districts across the country, children are being forced to sit longer than ever before. This is having a broad, negative impact.

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Topics: childhood development, parenting

10 simple ideas for introducing foreign language learning to toddlers

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 19, 2017 1:28:53 PM

Numerous studies have found that it's easier for children to learn a second language than for them to wait until adulthood to do so. Kids' brains function differently than those of adults, so they are simply better able to absorb different aspects of language learning. Their minds are truly like little sponges!

Knowing this, many parents' logical next question is: At what age should I teach my child to be multilingual?

The answer: A child is never too young to begin learning different languages.

In multilingual households, babies are exposed to different languages starting the day they are born. As children grow, so do the opportunities to learn. Language Stars classes begin when tots are age 12 months or older, helping them to gain foreign language skills simultaneously as they naturally learn the English language at this age.

Toddlers' natural curiosity makes language learning a truly magical experience. Patient parents who go slow and focus on the fundamentals will be rewarded with accelerated early childhood development.  To support your child's progression toward becoming multilingual, try these 10 language activities for toddlers at home:

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language

Today and tomorrow: Foreign language skills matter

Posted by Language Stars on Oct 10, 2017 8:53:53 PM

No matter how much you believe in the importance of foreign-language education, there will always be naysayers. Common arguments include the idea that technology will communicate for us, making multilingualism obsolete. Others point to English being the world's language, so why should we worry about learning anything else? Others think foreign language is simply too complex for kids to learn.

Realistically, language skills today matter more than ever before. Here are some intriguing reasons why becoming multilingual will benefit your child now and well into the future:

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language

Does speaking a foreign language make people feel differently?

Posted by Language Stars on Aug 10, 2017 11:30:47 AM

Can speaking a different language make you feel differently about yourself or your surroundings? Research suggests yes.

Just like the clothes you wear can affect how you feel, it turns out the language you speak has a similar effect. One language may make you feel more confident and authoritative, while another may make you feel more elegant and sophisticated. 

Nairan Ramírez-Esparza, an assistant professor of social psychology at the University of Connecticut, led a study in which bilingual Mexican Americans took a personality test in English and Spanish. In the English version of the test, they scored higher in extroversion, agreeableness and conscientiousness.

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language

How to decide what foreign languages your kids should learn

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 27, 2017 3:34:38 PM

It's no secret, new language acquisition is beneficial during early childhood development. It doesn't matter the language—when a child is multilingual, it provides a bounty of benefits. If you're researching educational options that teach foreign language for kids, you're already on the right path to giving your child a gift that will last a lifetime.

Learning another language helps the mind to think differently. Your child not only benefits from knowing several languages, but this manner of thinking can help them in other subject areas, too. Often, multilingual children do better in math, science and music. Helping children to learn a new language is like giving them an edge at school and beyond.

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language, language

How is it that kids can learn foreign languages so easily?

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 20, 2017 1:09:54 PM

Most people have heard that it's easiest to learn a foreign language when a person is still a child rather than waiting until they're a teen or an adult. However, many schools don't introduce regular language instruction until high school, missing out on a key opportunity.

Why do kids learn a language easier when they are younger? It appears the brain works differently during early childhood development. In fact, even babies have the incredible ability to recognize different sounds and learn multiple languages at once. 

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Topics: childhood development, foreign language, language

Why it's important for parents & teachers to introduce diversity early

Posted by Language Stars on Jul 12, 2017 2:05:35 PM

Infants as young as 6 months can begin to distinguish differences in physical characteristics, such as skin colors, hair textures and facial features. As kids grow, they notice even more individual traits that make people unique, and they will become aware of how they are alike and unique from their family and peers.

In the melting pot of America, there are many different cultures represented. Parents and teachers might think that diversity education happens naturally through this exposure in schools and in communities. But parent leadership to discuss real issues, such as cultural diversity, is critical during childhood development. So why is it so essential to discuss diversity while children are still young? Consider these top reasons:

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, schools

3 parenting tips to make this your best summer

Posted by Language Stars on Jun 23, 2017 8:50:18 AM

The first official day of summer just passed. Your young learner is likely ready for ice cream, sleepovers, and summer camp. But in order to support your child's cognitive development, you need to engage them with fun activities that challenge their minds. Here are 3 of our top parenting tips to ensure summer is both fun and supports childhood development.

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Topics: childhood development, parenting, foreign language