There is more to learning a new language than just being multilingual. It helps you develop cognitive skills but also boosts creative thinking. While grownups tend to somewhat neglect these aspects, when it comes to children, it can be highly beneficial.
In bilingual homes, children are exposed to “one parent, one language” process of learning. However, in households where this strategy wasn’t as strict and one language was primary, learning another can boost creativity. It will reflect in the way a child uses this second language – for example, to make one parent happy when they’re sad or after they expressed a bad behavior.
But learning languages helps children be more creative in many other ways, too. If you are still wondering whether your child should learn another language, here are some reasons why that is a good idea.
It shows a child more about the world
Every language has its own way of expression although the translation of each is always the same. But when you observe the literal meaning of phrases, you learn more about other cultures. This will teach a child to observe things from different points of you, something essential for creativity.
For example, in Vietnamese “good night” literally means “have a delicious sleep.” While using the word “delicious” is unusual to pair with sleep, it teaches the children about the possibility to differently express themselves. Thus, learning languages will help them describe situations in more creative and different ways.
Broadens their vocabulary
There are words in other languages that have no equivalent in English. This means that your child will find new ways to express their thoughts and broaden their vocabulary. Furthermore, the child will learn new words in the English language or be aware of the different meaning of the ones they already know.
This will be very useful to boost their writing and verbal skills appropriately, but also to discover that something can be observed from various perspectives.
Improves the body language
It’s often the case that people, not only children, will encounter the problem of remembering a certain word in the mid-conversation. Then, instead of reaching for a vocabulary, they would use body language to compensate. All this may seem like a game of charades but it is actually an excellent opportunity to be more creative.
Namely, if your child is confused with a word, they will seek a creative way to say it. The harder the word, the more they will invest in the creativity of their actions and emotions. And there are many challenging words out there that will really give them an inspiration.
Teaches them that failure is good for learning
Failing in something is perfectly okay and, furthermore, it can be a useful learning tool for children. It’s not easy to be creative and sometimes the ideas will be rejected. This is a normal process that children can experience through learning languages, as well as how to overcome it.
When your child learns a new language, they will make mistakes on a daily basis. This is actually good since it will help them make progress faster and learn from the mistakes. This is especially important during high school preparation or studying for a test in institutions like Sydney English College where teachers will encourage them to make mistakes and this way learn the language faster.
It boosts concentration
The research suggests that children who speak two languages have better concentration than those who know only one. The study led by Dr. Thomas Bak from School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences in Edinburgh shows that learning another language helps ignore irrelevant stimuli. This helps children concentrate on important issues and not be distracted from the task at hand.
And we all know that concentration is valuable for any creative process especially in children who tend to have short attention span per default. Concentrating on an idea is a valuable skill that improves the creative thought and gives positive results in the end.
Although learning another language is good for adults, it is also an excellent way to help children be more creative. After all, finding out more about other cultures through languages will open up a whole new world for them from where they can draw their inspiration.