Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are both American and speak only English. We’ve heard that it’s good to expose children to other languages. Is it really? If so, when and how do we do it?
A: There’s absolutely no question that learning a second language is good for kids (and adults). Here’s how:
- It boosts academic achievement. Literally dozens of studies have found that children who study a foreign language get better grades and score higher on standardized tests. More specifically, kids who learn more than one language do better than their mono-lingual (knowing only one-language) peers on verbal and math exams. Yes, math. According to some experts, learning a new language requires an understanding of patterns and deciphering puzzles—both of which are related to mathematics. Multi-lingual kids also demonstrate better grammar usage, reading ability, spelling, and vocabulary in their native language.
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