Multilingualism: How Many Languages Should Your Child Learn?
Letting children pick up a new language while they are young is considered a great idea these days. Many benefits come with allowing your child to learn a second language – this includes improved problem-solving skills, enhanced memory, and critical thinking. According to several studies, children who are proficient in more than one language also prove to have increased creativity and mental flexibility.
However, when it comes to teaching children, how many foreign languages are considered too many or too few? This is a question that many parents often have. Let’s take a look to give you a better idea of language learning for children.
How many languages should children learn?
Before enrolling your child in different language classes or giving them various language course materials, it is important first to determine how many languages your child can effectively learn at a young age. In theory, children can learn an unlimited number of languages.
However, in reality, experts recommend that a child should spend approximately 20% to 30% of their waking hours on attaining conversation fluency in any language. As such, the maximum number of languages your child should be learning at a time is three.
Can children learn more than 3 languages?
For many experts, learning more than three languages is only advisable once your child has already achieved a certain level of fluency in the languages they have studied. Of course, this is not a definite rule, considering that different children have different intellectual capabilities.
However, oftentimes, asking children to juggle many languages can result in lower language fluency levels. This is the trade-off that you might want to avoid. If you want your child to become completely fluent in multiple languages, it is safe to stay at a maximum of three languages at a time.
What language should children learn?
As mentioned, learning foreign languages can bring many benefits to children. This is especially true if the language they are trying to learn is highly relevant both in the present and future. Learning relevant languages can open many opportunities for your child, whether in school or the future workplace.
Mandarin is a great example of a relevant language that your child can learn. It is one of the most spoken languages globally, with nearly a billion speakers across the globe. By letting your child take Mandarin courses in Singapore, you offer them the ability to communicate, make friends, and work with others from different cultures. Apart from Mandarin, French, German, and Spanish are also good languages to learn at a young age. These languages, together with Mandarin, clinch the top spots as most spoken languages in the world.
When mastering a new language, what is crucial is to ensure your child learns the language well. One efficient way to secure this is to enrol them in a reliable language school. At language schools, skilled teachers who are native speakers of the language will not only provide quality instruction, but know how to make the learning experience enjoyable for your little ones!