What Are The Benefits of Bilingualism in Early Childhood? - SPARKLEBOX
Should Your Child be Monolingual or Multilingual? – Benefits of Bilingualism in Early Childhood

Should Your Child be Monolingual or Multilingual? – Benefits of Bilingualism in Early Childhood

Benefits of Bilingualism in Early Childhood

Table of content

  1. Introduction
  2. Myths surrounding bilingualism in early childhood
  3. Benefits of bilingualism in early childhood.
  4. Conclusion

Introduction

When a kid is born, it brings joy, happiness and the excitement of communicating. When the question of communication arises, parents simplify their terms and overdramatise their actions to gain their attention and keep them hooked on the conversation.

But the question is, do you use the standard English language to communicate, or do you speak your native language? In case both these languages coincide, then there isn’t any problem. But what if your native language is entirely different? Or what if both the parents have other native languages? What language to use and what to skip? Which language takes the upper hand, and which one takes a back seat?

benefits of bilingualism in early childhood

A newborn’s brain has as many as 100 billion neurons, the maximum it will ever have in its lifetime. But these neurons are all scattered, without any proper connections between them. They start forming relationships called synapses while growing, and a maximum number of synapses are included till the age of 3.

Several factors affect the formation of these synapses, the environment, the relationship with parents, the teaching, the learning, language, emotions, and many more. The more you utilize these neurons to form connections, the better your child’s cognition will be as the rest of the unused neurons get dissolved. So, it indeed is on the parents how sharp they train their kids.

Myths Surrounding Bilingualism in Early Childhood:

Since ancient times, many practices have been followed while upbringing children. These practices are so deep-rooted that people get reluctant to include any opposite approach in their lives. Many myths revolve around bilingualism as well. A few of them are highlighted below.

  1. Being bilingual may lead to delayed speech. People usually tend to blame bilingualism in case of any delayed speech. Though many causes could lead to delayed speech, bilingualism isn’t one of them.
  2. Bilingual children tend to get confused between the two languages. They may mix words from two languages in one sentence, but they usually know how to put forward their talks. By age 4, they recognise different words from different languages.
  3. Teaching two languages at the same time may cause speech disorders. What more do we need to know than this that if such a problem arises, it would be in both the languages and teaching two languages wouldn’t be the cause of the problem.
  4.  Bilingualism can make your child confused. The child may mix up the grammar of two different languages, but that doesn’t mean that they are confused about their conversation. As they grow up amidst these languages spoken around them, they pick up and learn to differentiate between their grammar rules.
  5. Parents need to be fluent in the languages they teach their children. Instead, it is observed that children learn a foreign language sooner than their parents. Many times, a family may migrate to another country where the parents start learning a new language along with their little children.
  6. Children should be competent to become bilingual. No child is “linguistically” better gifted than the other children. It’s all up to the grooming they get while growing up.

Benefits of bilingualism in early childhood

Though there are several myths surrounding bilingualism, the benefits of bilingualism in early childhood are more potent than any of them. The child’s brain is more open to learning than the adults, facilitating the learning of languages sooner than the grown-ups. You can begin training your baby as early as his infancy. Let’s see how bilingualism benefits early childhood.

Increased Cognitive Function

When you teach your child to be bilingual, its impact on his brain from early childhood is astounding. Just seeing the role bilingualism plays in cognitive development will be good enough to cement it as a method of upbringing.

  • With constant switching from one language to another, a bilingual child has trained his brain to do multi-tasking and block out irrelevant information, therefore helping in problem-solving capability, math solving, creative thinking and pattern recognition. 
  • Since the child trains his brain to remember vocabulary from different languages, it boosts his memory power.
  •  Other cognitive benefits of bilingualism in early childhood are better academic performance, better learning, better vocabulary, faster response to commands, and better communication.
benefits of bilingualism in early childhood

Health Benefits

Research has established a connection between bilingualism and delayed onset of dementia by five years .compared with monolingual children. The benefits of bilingualism in early childhood also improve overall brain function and health by strengthening the connections between neurons while switching from one language to another.

Open-mindedness

Children exposed to more than one language since early childhood are shown to be more open-minded than others. 

Improved Cultural and Social Skills:

Being bilingual doesn’t only mean exposing your child to a different language. This language introduces your child to a different culture and background, thus creating empathy and compassion in his mind and improving his social understanding.

benefits of bilingualism in early childhood

Primary Bilingual Benefits

Your child knows two different languages. The basic advantage he would have is easy travelling, as he would be capable of making new friends and adjusting to new social situations sooner. 

 bilingualism helps in travelling

Conclusion:

Raising a bilingual child is challenging, but the benefits of bilingualism in early childhood outweigh any challenges and show astounding effects on the child’s development if brought in early life. We should bust the myths surrounding bilingualism, and the facts should be relied on. I have included this approach in my child’s upbringing, have you?

Also Read:

How To Raise A Science-minded Child?

Top Basic Computer Skills That Your Child Must Learn

Top 13 STEM Movies For Kids That Will Inspire Brilliance

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