|Why learn Spanish?
| The Harvard Business Review classifies a foreign language as one of the top 3 ways to help your child succeed in life.
Considering today's global economy, being able to speak a foreign language is invaluable for any adult. If you think about it, there are only a few things that you can do in your child's preschool education that will impact their future. However, learning a foreign language is by far the most significant. Different preschools offer a lot of innovative methods and programs. But when your child is an adult applying for a job in a difficult job market, or applying for a college education the foreign language skill becomes the real asset that will make the difference. Being able to say that they are fluent in Spanish in those situations could easily give your child--as an adult--the competitive edge that they need. Not to mention the opportunities for travel and education that being fluent in a foreign language will do.
What benefits are there for my child from learning a foreign language?
Academic benefits-- Children who learn to speak a foreign language:
Social benefits-- Children who learn to speak a foreign language:
- Perform better in basic English skills in elementary school
- Score higher on standardized tests such as the SAT
- Demonstrate better problem solving skills and flexible thinking
- Show heightened creativity
- Score higher on IQ tests
Long-term benefits--Adults who learned to speak a language at a young age
- Are more culturally aware
- Can learn another (3rd) language easier and faster
- Are better at accepting cultural differences in others
- Build more self-confidence
- express themselves better in both languages
Why should children learn while they are young?
- Get into better colleges
- Can get credit for their language skills (AP tests, testing out of foreign languages)
- Have increased employment opportunities in professional and management jobs
- Increased international opportunities
A child’s brain is twice as active as an adult's brain and still in development as they grow to adulthood. In this developmental stage a child can learn a second language 8 times faster that an adult. The research concludes that the brain changes, as the child gets older. It becomes more difficult to learn foreign pronunciation and hear the different sounds in the foreign language. As we get older our own language patterns interference with the new language being learned. A child doesn’t encounter these same roadblocks as they learn a second language. Another reason is that becoming fluent in another language takes time. Your children will have less time as they get older and they become involved in school, arts, sports, community, and other extra-curricular activities. Why not have them speaking before they get involved with those other activities. There are very few people that become fluent in a foreign language from taking a few hours a week in high school. Devoting the time necessary to learn a foreign language is easiest at a young age. Besides that, research has shown that pronunciation and ultimate fluency is better when children learn a language at a young age compared with those that learn at an older age.
Wouldn’t it be better for my child to learn a foreign language later in high school or college?
No, absolutely not, is the reality to that question. Younger children’s minds are better suited to learning a foreign language. But beyond that, the truth is that most school foreign language programs do not produce fluent speakers. Sadly, the time and effort spent studying a foreign language for years in high school and college often only yields someone who can answer test questions about the language, repeat some memorized dialogues and vocabulary, but not someone who can speak with fluency needed to really make use of the language. On top of that, children who learn a 2nd language while they are young will be able to learn a 3rd language far easier when they are older.
We offer the best environment for learning a foreign language for preschoolers and elementary age children. We are always happy to explain the McKee Foreign Language Program in more detail. Call us today and start learning how a second language can benefit your child.