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How Learning A Foreign Language Helps Boost Toddler Development

The early years are the most important years of a toddler’s life since it is during this time when learning patterns are best established. Learning a foreign language is one way to increase toddler development. Here are some of the benefits it brings.

Helps Toddlers Develop Intellectually

Many researchers have said that although learning a foreign language is effective at any age, the human brain is more open to learning a new language from birth to toddlerhood. Hence, the reason why a 4-year old child can better absorb the sounds and intonations of a new language as compared to a 12-year old child. In addition, learning two or more languages can boost certain crucial brain functions. In fact, it has been proven that children who grew up speaking two languages are better at “executive function” – an important skill that helps people focus, pay attention, plan and make decisions.

Enhances Language Skills

Introduction of foreign languages helps a toddler build his vocabulary which in turn increases the child’s reading aptitude and generates new ways to be communicative. Moreover, learning a foreign language greatly benefits a toddler’s communication and oral expression. Grammatical formation, memory and listening skills are improved which helps enhance a toddler’s cognitive abilities. In addition, teaching a toddler to speak a foreign language before he reaches 10 years of age increases the chances of the child to develop native-like pronunciation (speak the language like a native).

Encourages Better Understanding of Other Cultures

As a toddler discovers a new language, he is also exposed to beliefs, cultures and traditions which are different from his own. Instead of shutting out another language, he gains better awareness of not just his own individuality but also of others which helps a toddler become well-rounded.

Improves A Toddler’s Personality

Research has also proven that toddlers who are bilingual are more creative and seek various ways to resolve problems aside from having tantrums and displaying aggressive behaviour. They are capable of thinking outside the box because they have been exposed to different points of views and languages.

Helps Toddlers Excel In Academics

According to a recent study conducted, toddlers who continue learning concepts in their native language while at the same time learning a foreign one perform better academically than children who only learn American English. This is because bilingual children have developed better concept structure, systematic skills and cognitive flexibility – skills that are important in providing academic success. As a result, the toddler will be able to build a strong educational foundation that will be of great help once he enters higher education.

Learning a foreign language offers plenty of benefits to children. Thus, honing your toddler to be bilingual is valuable for his development. Start early. Expose your toddler to native speakers by letting him talk to an aunt who lives in Spain or an Italian neighbour. Read books and watch shows that teach children various languages and practice speaking them at home to help reinforce your child’s brain.

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