Giving Your Child A Bilingual Education
Choosing where to send them to school is a big decision. Your child’s education whether it be monolingual or bilingual, is one of the most important things you will have to consider during their lives. There are many benefits of 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. 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. 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 be exposed to other opportunities.
Cognitive benefits of a bilingual education
A bilingual education can strengthen the executive function of the brain. 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.
More options for further education
One of the major benefits of a 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.
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.
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 a 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.
Decisions when considering a bilingual education
There are 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.
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.
Is a bilingual education worth it?
Definitely! There are many benefits of a bilingual education, and children will certainly have an advantage in life learning and being educated in two languages.