We live in a globalized world where, through the push of a few buttons on a keyboard, we can interact, communicate, and conduct business with peoples from around the world. Learning a second language as a child can help our students here at North Shore Christian School become a vital part of these interactions and connections, whether it is in their personal lives or in the future business world. The advantages of learning another language are multifold in regards to cognitive functions, cultural understanding, and career opportunities in the future. Let’s take a closer look at these three major benefits of learning a second language:
- Cognitive Improvements – Speaking two (or more) languages is a fantastic asset for the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than monolingual speakers. For example, the brain of a person who is bilingual can function at a higher level by recognizing, negotiating meaning, and communicating in to two very different ways. The neural pathways are increased and they function better than a single language speaker. Children who are multilingual experience brain benefits surprisingly early. This “brain boost” has been studied and shown to improve multitasking in children, raise SAT scores by as much as 38%, and expose children to a rich vocabulary. Other research has shown that learning a language can actually stave off brain degeneration such as in Alzheimer’s. Studies show that the first signs of dementia in monolingual people begins at age 71.4, while the age of the first signs of dementia for bilingual or multilingual people begin at age 75.5.
- Better Cultural Understanding – Students who study another language don’t just memorize vocabulary, grammar rules, and conjugations; they learn about the culture of the people or peoples who speak that language. This could include family traditions, holidays celebrated, cuisine, clothing, and the list goes on and on. Having a better understanding of cultures other than our own makes our students compassionate and able to see differing viewpoints other than their own.
- Career Opportunities – Students who speak more than one language are not only more employable but have expanded career opportunities. Business leaders need employees who can communicate and interact with people from other countries. This skill can set a student apart from others applying for the same position.
North Shore Christian School is proud of our ability to offer foreign language classes to our students. Want to know more about our Spanish offerings at NSCS? Click here or call our office for more info.