Spanish is one of the most common languages in the world. According to the US Hispanic Data Gallery there are currently 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the United States, and another 11.6 million people who are bilingual. It is the second most spoken language in the US. Its Latin roots are related to other languages such as Italian, Portuguese or French, so knowing Spanish makes easy to learn any of those languages, and to communicate with people who speak these other languages. Spanish is becoming a necessity due to the growing Hispanic population in the US.
Benefits of a second language
Children are made to learn languages. They are amazing learners. Children learn throughout their day as they discover new things through play and exploration. They have an innate eagerness to learn and their brains are capable to acquiring any language, especially when they are very young (birth to four years old). Children who are exposed to another language, at a young age, are more likely to become bilingual as adults. There are many reasons why children should learn a foreign language. For example, learning a foreign language:
- Helps children’s cognitive development. The early exposure to a second language develops more connections in a child’s brain. Some studies have shown that children that learn a second language have better problem-solving skills, flexible thinking, and more creativity.
- Improves children’s academic performance. Learning a second language will help children to perform better not only in their own language, but also in other subjects.
- Is easy and natural for children to learn a second language. Science has shown that children can learn more than one language at the same time. Their brains are designed to learn any language sound when they are very young.
- Provides cultural awareness. Children will be able to communicate with non-English speakers. Learning a second language gives children a unique insight to other cultures.
- Helps children’s confidence. As they become bilingual they will have a sense of achievement. Once they learn one language, learning a third language will be easier.