Learning a second language provides a wealth of benefits that go well beyond the simple ability to talk to more people. The benefits of multilingual education affect everything from academic and career success to improved health outcomes.
Here are some of the most interesting reasons to master a second language:
1. Better Working Memory
You don’t have to wait until old age to see the benefits of bilingualism as it relates to memory. Researchers have also found that bilingual children have stronger working memories than monolingual children. This means that they could sort and store memories more effectively and outperform peers on both math and reading comprehension tasks.
2. Improved Decision-Making Skills
Working memory is a big part of overall executive functioning—the part of the brain responsible for breaking down tasks and making decisions. Some fascinating studies have revealed that people tend to make more logical decisions when doing so in their second language. This appears to be because there are more emotions tied into a first language, while thinking through a problem in a second language provides some needed time and distance to tackle thorny problems.
3. Enhanced Academic Achievement
Given the memory and decision-making boost, it’s not surprising that bilingual children perform better on standardized tests than their monolingual peers. Years of research on the subject has demonstrated that learning a second language increases first-language skills and improves students’ ability to hypothesize in science, as well as perform better on the SATs and get better grades in college.
4. Increased Earnings and Career Advancement
Finally, all of the benefits of learning a second language lead to better outcomes for adults in their careers. One study estimates that bilingual workers can expect to earn 10 to 15% more on the job. Additionally, Fortune 500 companies tend to target bilingual college graduates in hiring because they understand the value these employees bring to the table.
Of course, mastering a second language takes many years, so it pays to start as early as possible. Children who begin language learning as part of their early childhood education stand to make quick gains and achieve real fluency—a lifelong gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re looking to provide your child the peace of mind of a steady income, a healthier and more resilient brain, or simply the joy of being able to connect with people in other cultures, language learning just might be the key to their future happiness and wellbeing.
To learn more about the benefits of language immersion and preschool Spanish programs, contact KSS Immersion Schools today.