As a language immersion preschool, we at Crossing Borders Preschool are well aware of the many benefits of being bilingual. As you may know by now, being bilingual can help you succeed academically, professionally, and personally. However, there are some benefits of being bilingual that you may not know:
Improved mental focus
Studies have shown that children who are bilingual score higher on problem-solving tests and complete tasks faster. This is due to the executive control system of the brain. The executive control system helps your brain focus on relevant information so that you can multitask and manage more topics at once. When your executive control system is functioning well, you are able to focus and concentrate more easily and for longer. Research suggests that mastering more than one language improves your executive control system, so children who know a foreign language can concentrate more than their peers who do not.
Better decision-making skills
A study by the University of Chicago recently studied how decision-making is affected by thinking in a foreign language. It was found that we make more rational decisions when we think about problems in a foreign language rather than our native tongue. This may be because we are influenced by our irrational biases when we make decisions. In a foreign language, we have to slow our thoughts and give more time to think things through. Enrolling your child in a language immersion preschool know may help them make better decisions in the future.
Learning a foreign language gives you a different perspective of the world. Whereas when you know one language, there are few words for everything, when you are multilingual, you have a whole new vocabulary. This opens you up to a whole new perspective on the world. People who are bilingual often are more open-minded than people who are not, simply because they know firsthand that there are different perspectives out there other than their own.
Improved listening skills
When you learn a foreign language, the way your brain processes sound changes. Essentially, your auditory skills improve due to the need to listen for differences between your native language and your newly acquired language. When you learn a new language, you also learn how to listen better. Listening skills are exceptionally helpful in a variety of ways, from academically to your personal life. Teaching your child listening skills now will serve them well in the future.
Better performance on standardized tests
Children who learn a foreign language perform better on the SATs than students who do not. The Center for Applied Linguistics reports than students with more than four years of a foreign language under their belts scored higher on both the verbal and math sections of the SAT than their peers who did not take foreign language classes. Learning a foreign language now may help your child succeed academically in the future.
Clearly, being bilingual has benefits beyond what you may have expected. When you are ready for your child to experience these benefits by being immersed in a new language, contact Crossing Borders Preschool in Houston for more information on our language immersion preschool.