Every parent wants to give their child an advantage, whether in school, social skills, and general preparation for life. Learning a second language is one of the best ways to accelerate your child’s development not only in academics, but in culture, communication, and everything else that determines long-term success.
Specifically, Mandarin Chinese is the second most widely-spoken language in the world, with nearly 1.2 billion speakers and counting. Having your child learn Chinese comes with vast and varied benefits, so why not give your child the head start they need early on?
Here are the top five benefits and effects of learning Chinese at a young age and some tips to help your child learn faster and better.
1. Benefits for Brain Development and Critical Thinking
The studies are clear about language learning for young children: early competence in multiple languages is hugely beneficial for brain development during the stages when it matters most.
The brain is structured to absorb as much information as possible early on, and learning two or more languages concurrently is excellent for faster and stronger neural connections. Because language development begins early, parents can benefit their child’s intellectual development by facilitating second-language lessons before kindergarten begins!
Furthermore, Chinese adds another layer of complexity by introducing new symbols, sounds, and grammatical elements that differ from the typical language offerings. Your child discovers a new world of writing, reading, and communicating that other languages do not offer to the same degree.
2. Improved Communication and Relationship-Building Skills
Math, science, and the arts are all great academic studies, but learning a language like Chinese benefits a child’s life beyond the classroom setting. This is due to the communication and social benefits of learning a second language, offering a new arsenal of words and ideas for children to engage with. They will become more articulate in expressing themselves with peers and adults, and develop a more mature, sophisticated way of interacting with the world around them.
Communication is at the core of childhood success and beyond, and Chinese helps bolster these critical skills sooner rather than later. This can give children a head start in making friends, navigating school, pursuing hobbies, and making their way through life.
3. Long-Term Career Opportunities and Success Factors
Every parent wants their child to succeed in the real world once their education is complete. However, it’s not necessarily appropriate or viable to put a child in a career development course at a young age!
Learning a second language is one of the few early education techniques that has tangible benefits for long-term success in whatever career your child chooses down the road, from business and marketing to STEM, academics, or the arts. By helping your child learn Chinese early, you give them a boost in their professional life without applying too much pressure or unrealistic expectations.
4. Broader Cultural Understanding and Appreciation
With the Chinese language becoming a more influential part of our world, an increased level of cultural understanding can only benefit a child in their developmental years. Parents want their children to engage with the world in a confident way rather than fall behind the times.
Because the Chinese language and culture are so different from that of the Western world, children who learn Chinese get a major leg up in a global world. They can decipher symbols, explain concepts, and form bonds with others when they’re old enough to work and travel.
This is not only a boost to your child’s inner confidence, but sparks a sense of curiosity and cultural interest from a young age. They will be more likely to engage with other cultures positively and be part of a more globally-integrated future that is well on its way.
5. A Fun Extracurricular Activity for All Kids
Parents face many decisions when signing kids up for extracurricular pursuits, from sports and music to arts and theater. However, as language lessons have come a long way from how you might remember them, learning a second language has the dual benefit of being both fun and educational.
Rather than endless pages of bland workbooks, today’s lessons are digital, exciting, and structured similarly to your child’s favorite tablet apps and video games. In other words, your child may actually look forward to their Chinese lessons each week and stay more motivated on their path to long-term fluency.
Give Your Child the Language Advantage
There are many ways language learning can benefit your child, from social skills and cultural understanding to pure academics and career paths. Chinese builds on these benefits with a unique alphabet and a totally different way of looking at the world. Get started with your child’s second language education today, and consider Chinese as a front-runner for their next language!