Bilingual children gain many benefits from their bilingual education. The development of bilingualism in children at an early age causes the neural connections in the brain of bilingual children to be different than those of monolingual children, increases the ability to socialize and delays the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms by an average of 5 years compared to monolingual people.
A bilingual education produces a great number of benefits for the child throughout his life. We can group these benefits into intellectual abilities, socio-cultural, economic and health benefits.
Development of intellectual abilities in bilingual children:
The development of bilingualism in children at an early age causes the neural connections in the brain of the bilingual child to be different than those of a monolingual child. Since the bilingual child's brain will develop to assume the ability to access both languages quickly and effortlessly, these variations of the bilingual brain versus a monolingual brain not only affect this specific cognitive ability, but also at the same time, the brain will have acquired a different way of analyzing and interpreting the environment, doing it in a more effective way than the monolingual child.
Some of the cognitive abilities enhanced by bilingualism in children are:
- Develops the executive function of the brain. Whose objective is to direct the care process, in order to plan and organize ourselves.
- The bilingual child will have a better spatial vision.
- The ability to concentrate is increased, ignoring more unnecessary distractions than the monolingual child.
- Improves memory both in the short and long term.
- Improve the creativity area of the child.
- Stimulates ease of the child when it comes to learning more languages.
Social-cultural benefits of bilingualism for children:
The world tends towards a globalization in which people are getting closer and closer. Thanks to tourism and immigration, the number of couples who speak in different mother tongues has grown. Cultural exchange and social relationships have made the need to learn a second language a reality.
Bilingualism encourages social inclusion, it is a very important weapon to get to know other cultures and favors integration with people from other parts of the world. In addition, it increases the ability to socialize and, at the same time, helps to overcome shyness.
Economic benefitsof bilingualism for children:
Until a few years ago, proficiency in a second language helped a lot to get some specific jobs. With the advent of the Internet and global markets, English has gone from being valuable to being essential. In addition, the trend in job offers that require a very high level of English continues to increase year by year, both in number of offers and in demand in the level of English.
The development of bilingualism at an early age gives us an important advantage when it comes to looking for work, and learning a third language at school.
Health benefitsof bilingualism for children:
In 2010, the Rotman research institute presented a study in which they showed that, although bilingual people are also susceptible to Alzheimer's, symptoms in bilinguals appear much later than in monolingual people.
The brain's ability to connect and disconnect a language creates a system ready for changes and errors, storing certain information in a different way than the monolingual brain. For this reason, Alzheimer's symptoms are delayed by an average of 5 years compared to monolingual people.
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