From a child’s improved problem-solving and critical thinking skills to their ability to communicate with greater empathy, being bilingual sure has its benefits.
Consider its long-term impact. Think about how your child can remain ahead of the competitive workforce, both in Singapore and globally.
This will effortlessly open a whole new world of communication and understanding necessary for career progression.
But, of course, bilingualism doesn’t just stop there. It also nurtures a distinct identity for society. This is important in shaping your child’s worldviews of the people, cultures and societies around them.
It’s easier for your child to appreciate people who are different to them – what can be more important than this in our multicultural world?
Still thinking whether or not your child should begin learning a new language once they reach preschool (or even earlier, that is)? We’re leaving you with these benefits – we’re sure the answer will be a resounding ‘yes’!
What Are The Effects Of Bilingualism On Child Development?
1. Improved Memory
A paper published by the Brain Structure and Function, led by the University of Reading and Georgetown University, revealed that bilingual children are able to retain more grey and white matter than their monolingual peers. Grey matter are those parts of the brain that process and relay information, while white matter focuses on how different parts of the brain communicate with one another.
What does that mean? If your child takes up a second language from a young age, they’re more likely to have better memory, alongside improved intelligence. The study also implies that they’ll age better – your child will nurture an active mind and body as they grow older.
2. Enhanced Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
The art of learning a second language is a challenging pursuit, yet an enriching one. Take, for instance, the Chinese language. Various strokes of characters determine different pronunciations. A single pronunciation can even be written in different ways. Through a series of rules, your little one learns how to organise information (such as syntax and grammar) and produce the right response when a situation calls for it.
The connection they make from the little details (series of words) to the big picture (what they intend to communicate) is essentially the heart of problem-solving and critical thinking, an important trait for improved cognitive development.
The mental alertness required to switch between languages, deliver with creativity and understand different vocabulary are also key to this, what a study by the University of Strathclyde further revealed.
In other words, your child will be better able to resolve conflicts or find their way around challenges more effectively by focusing on what’s important.
They’ll know what they need to do to get the job done.
3. Greater Empathy
When a child learns a second language, it teaches them, first and foremost, that their first language is never universal. Knowing that more than one language is spoken in the world means there’s a higher chance that they’ll come across someone who won’t understand how they speak.
Since these languages are also pegged to a rich and complex cultural history, your child will also be aware of the various beliefs in the world, even if they do not align with their own. Having this awareness and acceptance is key to building in them empathy.
Bilingualism teaches them how to be sensitive to others around them, not just in a multicultural country like Singapore, but also amid the diversity that the world is largely known for.
Give Your Preschooler A Headstart Today
Now that your child is heading to preschool, why not consider a bilingual programme for them? At MindChamps, our Chinese PreSchool in Singapore helps nurture your child’s love for the Chinese language.
We teach them, among many aspects, how to express themselves in Mandarin and appreciate the rich Chinese history through hands-on cultural activities such as calligraphy and clay modelling. Our programme is designed for children aged 18 months to 6 years old in the playgroup, nursery and kindergarten levels. Coupled with research-led pedagogy, rest assured your little one will embark on a fulfilling developmental path.
Take your child a step closer to experiencing the benefits of bilingualism by enrolling them in our Chinese PreSchool. Book a visit to our centre if you’d like to learn more!