Approximately one in five American children over the age of five speak both English and another language at home, according to the American Community Survey, a component of the US Census. These bilingual/multilingual youngsters include hearing children of Deaf individuals! How does their social, emotional, and psychological development change in a bilingual environment? Here are 6 compelling arguments for why being bilingual rocks!
Enhanced communication skills
Youngsters who speak many languages are exposed to a wider variety of social experiences than monolingual children. As a result, multilingual kids frequently learn how to take into account other people’s viewpoints, which helps them communicate more effectively. One of the most important communication skills is the capacity to take into account other points of view, which may be useful in both personal and professional contexts. Studies suggest multilingual exposure boosts children’s communication skills by NPR, explains more about the connection between language and communication.
Cognitive talents known as executive functioning skills include problem-solving, planning, and reasoning. According to studies, multilingual kids frequently have stronger executive functioning abilities than their monolingual peers, especially in the areas of inhibition and monitoring.
Comfortable with their surroundings
Being multilingual has several benefits, one of which is the capacity to constantly observe the surroundings. Spanish scholar Albert Costa from the University of Pompeu Fabra claimed, Bilinguals frequently jump between languages; for example, you might need to speak to your mother in one language and your father in another.
More career opportunities
A multilingual candidate may have a distinct edge over a monolingual applicant in the job market due to their ability to communicate in many languages. The capacity to communicate in many languages is seen by the global business sector as an “indispensable instrument for relationship development and financial success.” Finding employment may become simpler as a result, and salaries may rise as well. “Those entering the workforce in 2014 with second language competence may expect an additional 10 to 15 percent wage rise,” says Ryan McMunn, a language specialist and CEO of BRIC Language Systems.
Delay the onset of Alzheimer /Dementia
According to research from the Institute of Medical Sciences in Hyderabad, India, those who speak a second language experience a 4.5-year delay at the beginning of Alzheimer’s disease. This is because utilizing many languages requires ongoing mental control, which keeps the brain active and prevents cognitive decline.
Increased ability to multitask
Due to their capacity to transition between languages, multi-linguals have proven to be stronger multitaskers. When a bilingual person routinely speaks two languages, the control network must be used, according to researchers quoted in a US News story, “to prevent interference from the other language and to maintain the dominance of the desired language.”
Being multilingual has several social and cognitive benefits, many of which are derived from early and ongoing language exposure. Don’t panic if you haven’t started learning a second language yet. It’s never too late to learn, says Dr. Ellen Bialystok of York University in Toronto, Canada. Consider teaching a new sign language to your family and studying it together if you currently speak two or more languages at home.