Why Is It Important To Learn Languages At An Early Age?
February 17, 2015
The brain is like a sponge ready to learn when you are a child. Children should be introduced to languages, apart from their mother tongue, at birth. Researchers say that when you are a child you acquire language, rather than to learn it. As the child gets older, the brain’s ability to restructure itself in this manner diminishes and between the age of 6 and 9 years old the brain’s ability has virtually closed. After the age of 10 years old learning a second language becomes “work”. In 2012, it is very important for children to learn as many languages as they can. It opens so many doors to ones future, such as jobs, college, and travelling.
As the world becomes multi-cultural and diverse the importance of learning multiple languages is becoming more critical. Today, companies are looking for people who speak multiple languages. Learning multiple languages gives you the ability to communicate with others and exposes you to many other cultures, allowing you to understand other peoples’ customs. How many times do you hear “I went to this country and the people were so rude”? What may be rude for one country may not be rude for another country.
I am French and was raised in France and lived in Luxembourg, Italy and the United States of America. If I didn’t speak Italian and English, it would have been very difficult to communicate and understand the cultures and customs of each country. Learning at a young age, gives the child the ability to grasp the native accent from the language they are learning. For children to have an interest in languages, multiple languages should be taught at birth and in preschool rather than starting to learn a second language in high school. In most countries, like France, Germany and Luxembourg learning multiple languages is mandatory.
I am the author of “Chimmy5in1 languages books”. Chimmy is a cartoon monkey who teaches children basic words in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Hebrew and Chinese.
I have been teaching French to a one year old child since she was four months old. She has been exposed to English and Spanish since birth. Research shows that an infant’s brain comes pre-wired to learn languages, and children begin to build their language skills from birth, using the sound of the language they are exposed to. Now as a one-year old she can say words in the three languages like “aqua” in Spanish, “un” and “bebe” in French. I have been singing a French song to her for the last seven months, not only does she love the song, but she also tries to sing it in French and can say “ainsi”, a French word from the song.
Her sister, who is three-and-a-half years old, has been exposed to English and Spanish since birth and French with me since she was two-and-a-half years old. She can perfectly speak English, Spanish and she can say many words in French and can perfectly count to ten in all three languages. She is eager to learn languages and always says to me, “Miss Patricia, how do you say this word in French?”
Both little girls do not have an American accent when they speak French and Spanish. If they both continue to learn French and Spanish by the time they are six years old they will be trilingual and ready to learn other languages.
The girls are proof that when exposed to languages at an early age, the brain has the capacity to learn as many languages as desired without being confused.