As a caring parent, you already know how important it is to give your child the best start in life. In today’s increasingly globalised economy, providing your child with the advantage of being able to speak a second language could be the key to a variety of life options that might not otherwise be available to them.
Many parents have already acquired first-hand experience of the benefits of being multi-lingual. Having the edge in the global workforce, being able to communicate with new friends and business contacts in addition to having superior reading and writing skills are just a few of these.
If you’ve already set your heart on your child learning the English language early, then here’s what you need to know:
Some language professionals believe that the younger children are when they learn to speak English, the better. After all, babies are hardwired to learn language and the earlier that they’re exposed to language, the easier and faster it should be for them to learn it.
If your child is older and just starting school, then don’t despair. Your child is still within the most advantageous timeframe for them to learn. They will still be wired to learn language until 8 years old or so, so will pick it up quickly. After that age, it may take more focus and more work but they can still learn to speak English rapidly. This is particularly true with language immersion methods.
Some believe that forcing a second language on a child early can result in them struggling. Research shows that those who speak two languages early in life, may be behind in both of those languages. By allowing a child to learn one language and then focus on learning the next one, you could give them a head start on the first language and ensure that they don’t get left behind at school.
We suggest that you do your own research to understand more about this topic. There are several different theories, some borne from experience and others from professional education. In our opinion, the earlier the better. It will prove to be less painful for everybody in the long run.