Learning a foreign language has many life-long benefits.
Knowing why it’s important means you can tell your homeschooled child the actual reasons rather than ‘because it’s good for you’ when she complains about learning French (or any other language).
Luckily I had read a bit about the benefits of learning a foreign language before we began our homeschool journey. The only reason that stuck in my mind was that it helps ward off dementia – and that’s what I told Miss 14.
As I said, there are many benefits of learning a second language.
Here are four.
1. It’s Good For Your Brain
Learning a second language improves your judgment, perception, memory, and reasoning. LOTE challenges your brain to recognize, find the meaning, and communicate in a different language. This, in turn, boosts your ability to problem solve.
Studies have been conducted on students who study a foreign language and the researchers discovered that the students scored better on standardized tests in maths, reading, and vocabulary – in their native language.
They also discovered that children who are multilingual are better at multitasking.
Improved memory is not just important for children and students.
The average age of the onset of dementia is 71 years. For multilingual adults, the onset is 75.5 years.
So you are never too old to learn a second or third language!
2. It Looks Good on Your Resume
Being multilingual can help you get that dream job.
If an employer has to choose between you and someone else with exactly the same qualifications, they will most likely choose you because you can speak more than one language.
3. It Makes You a Better Person
When you learn a foreign language you also learn about the culture too, which means you are less likely to be prejudiced towards people from different backgrounds. You will be more tolerant and have a greater appreciation of cultural diversity.
Learning a second language increases your confidence so you will be able to speak comfortably with people from different backgrounds.
4. It’s Fun
Learning a foreign language is fun.
It opens up the world and a world of possibilities. And it makes international travel so much easier!
If you have been struggling with the idea of teaching your homeschooled child a second language, I hope the above reasons will encourage you to look into your options. There are many. And while you’re at it – learn a foreign language yourself. It’s good for you too.
Duolingo is a free online language program.
Mango Languages does cost money but is an easy learning system.
Whatever you decide,
Enjoy the Journey
Author: Lara Galea
Lara is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer and homeschooler. When not helping others with their journey, she is either reading, binge-watching Netflix or creating havoc in the kitchen.