Benefits of Bilingual Education
Are the benefits of bilingual education worth it? Is sending your child to a bilingual school going to pay off in the end? Choosing where to send them to school is a big decision and you want to get it right.
If you are raising a bilingual child, their education whether it be monolingual or bilingual, is one of the most important things you will have to consider during their lives. So when making this decision there are many things to consider.
There are many advantages of being bilingual, and a bilingual education. If your child is bilingual when they are ready to start kindergarten or school, learning in a bilingual school can reinforce their languages and give them a great head start.
If your child can speak only one language, giving them a bilingual education can help them to acquire an additional language in a short amount of time. So if your home language is English, but you want to teach your child Spanish or Chinese for example, this is one way to be sure your child becomes proficient in both.
Immersing your child into the language on a daily basis long term, will not only help them to become proficient in the language, but will also mean they are exposed to other opportunities.
Here are 5 amazing benefits of a bilingual education
1. Cognitive benefits of a bilingual education
A bilingual education can strengthen the executive function of the brain. In fact, research shows that because bilingual students are able to use two languages at the same time, switching consistently, it develops skills for functions such as inhibition, switching attention, and working memory.
As such, students who are being educated bilingually, often perform better on tasks which require multi-tasking, decision making and problem solving, even though they have nothing to do with the language.
2. More options for further education
One of the major benefits of bilingual education is that kids are not only raised to be bilingual, but also to be biliterate. This can give your child more choices when it comes to choosing further education.
They will be free to choose which university they want to go apply for, in which country, depending on the languages they speak.
It will also be easier for them to participate in semesters abroad, or an exchange program where they can study in another country immersed in the culture of their second language assisting in their proficiency.
3. A bilingual education broadens career opportunities
Being fluent in an extra language can make a candidate stand out among prospective employers. It also open doors to extra opportunities that those without these skills may miss out on.
In today’s growing global economy, many international companies are increasingly searching for employees who are bilingual. Those with a bilingual education have the advantage.
Candidates who are educated bilingually stand out from other potential employees especially if it is a language which is widely spoken.
Read More: Best jobs for bilinguals
4. Children with a bilingual education are more adaptable
Language isn’t just about learning sets of words and grammar, it is also learning about another culture and another way of life. The advantage of bilingual education gives children a broader outlook and brings them closer to different races and nationalities.
In a world that is constantly changing, communication is becoming increasingly important. Children who are able to communicate with a variety of cultures are the ones that will have more advantages in life.
5. A bilingual education creates more cultural opportunities
A major advantage of attending a bilingual school is that you get to meet with people from different backgrounds.
Learning about other cultures is important for children and helps them to understand the world around them. It helps them to grow up more open minded and accept differences.
Decisions when considering a bilingual education
As parents, you have many decisions to make when considering a bilingual education. Your choices can be determined by many factors such as where you live and which schools are available.
Will you send your child to an international school or a bilingual school?
There are differences. An international school will usually follow the international curriculum and students graduate with the International Baccalaureate which is world wide recognised. In a bilingual school, they may follow the national curriculum. In some cases, not all classes will be held in both languages equally.
What languages will be taught?
Will the languages taught be beneficial to your child? Any second language is beneficial, however choosing a language that your child will be able to practice out of school will be an even greater benefit.
There are languages which are said to be easier to learn, or harder to learn. However kids are extremely adaptable, and usually it doesn’t matter which language they are exposed to, they will pick it up anyway.
Will you need a bilingual tutor to help with homework?
Giving your child a bilingual education means that homework will come in both languages. If you do not speak the languages being taught, how will you support your child’s homework tasks? Hiring a tutor is a popular solution.
Are the benefits of bilingual education worth it?
Definitely! As you have read, there are numerous advantages and benefits of bilingual education, and children will certainly have an advantage in life learning and being educated in two languages.
If you have a bilingual school in your area and you are sitting on the edge not knowing what to do, go check the school out, speak with the teachers, watch the classes, and see first hand the benefits of a bilingual education.
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It’s good that you point out that bilingual education is good for enhancing the brain function of children. I would like my child to grow up to be highly intelligent, so I’m considering getting him a bilingual education. I’m going to look for a good bilingual education center for children in my area.
I envy those kids dealing with more than one language. This blog clearly states why so! It’s also true that our brain is fastest to pick up on anything taught new for the first time when we are young. The younger, the faster!
I agree that one of the most important things that you can give to your children is an education. Because it is so important to help them to get to college and to be unique and different from others it is important to make sure that they prepare for that by doing extracurricular activities. I agree that teaching a child a second language from a young age will help them to be able to be more successful and have more opportunities in the future.
I didn’t realize that children given a bilingual education had earlier development of multi-tasking, decision making, and problem solving skills! In today’s competitive world I would imagine that developing skills like these early would give your child a serious advantage later on in life. I will have to look into a bilingual pre-school when I have children to get that process started as early as possible.
I never knew that learning in two languages could help develop multi-tasking skills. I would imagine that having a bilingual education would be helpful for you child’s future. My husband is bilingual so maybe we should look into sending our daughter to a bilingual preschool as well to help her development.
Lillies and Daisies
My six year old attended a French pre-school aged 2.5 until 5 and is now in her 2nd year at a public French immersion school in southern California. She was fluent like a native by her 4th birthday. I can’t see us moving back to Oz in the near future.
Suzy @ In The Lyons Den
Really interesting reading this. Unfortunately, my husband and I do not speak another language, but at our daughters pre school they teach French. She is 4 years old and loves coming home and telling us new words she has learnt. I think it really does expand their mind and open it up to learning more about the world. I hope to travel with my kids like I did as a child, to learn new things about different countries. It is fantastic being in another country and having to communicate.
That’s great that your daughter is learning French. Unfortunately in Australia it is not as common to learn second languages as it is in Europe for example, although they are trying to implement it more in schools now.
Suzy @ In The Lyons Den
That’s right and if you do learn another language you don’t get the same opportunity to practice either!! It is so great for their minds ?
Diana Sampedro. BABY ENGLISH
As a mum of a bilingual 6 year old girl ( I am Spanish but I am raising my kid in English) I think it is a good oportunity for them to travel, to meet new people, even as you mention in the post, to adapt better to new situations, ideas… Gracias for the article!