Teaching your child a second language not only stimulates their brain, but learning a second language can open up opportunities in their future.
Nowadays, we live in a global society. It feels as though the world is getting smaller every day. New Zealand, like many countries throughout the world, has become multi-cultural. Wherever you venture, you’re bound to see different dress codes, smell the aroma of foreign cuisine and hear another language being spoken.
Giving your child the opportunity to speak a second language could open many doors in their future. Not only does speaking another language give a young person a far greater insight into that language’s culture, it is also an invaluable asset should your child wish to travel overseas.
A second language can also open the door to business and career opportunities as a more diversified workforce and global workplace mean those who can speak another language often have a career headstart over those who speak English only.
Learning another language isn’t just for kids. How many parents have been keen to learn a second language for many years, but kept putting it off – too busy, too hard? Maybe now’s the time to take that next step towards becoming bi-lingual or multi-lingual and learn alongside your child!
Picking the Right Language
Helping your child to choose the best language for them to learn depends upon several factors. What are their plans for the future? Are they interested in being an active part of the growing Asian consumer market? Do they have an interest in a particular culture? Does your child have an affinity with a certain country through distant relations?
And, of course, remember that New Zealand has three official languages- English, Te Reo Maori, and New Zealand Sign Language. If you are thinking about teaching your child a language, these languages are a great place to start and there are plenty of resources to help you out.
Don’t get too hung up on which language to choose; be aware that learning any language will be good for your child. And having learnt a second language, it is much easier to learn a third or a fourth!
When to Start Learning a Language
Tutors will tell you that the most opportune time for your child to start learning a second language is today. If they’re keen now, there’s no point in holding them back. As with any new skill, the sooner they get started the better. There are group lessons available for children as young as 3 or 4. The younger the child starts, the easier it will be for them to learn and the better their pronunciation.