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Shreya Parikh FCWR 101-W02

Professor Patterson 11/27/16

Children should learn a second language at a younger age because it is beneficial for them.

One of the reasons children should learn another language is because there are many psychological

benefits to learning one. Learning additional languages increases one’s critical thinking skills,

creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children. It is indicated that learning another

language is not just a linguistic activity, but a cognitive one also. The brain functions better with

exercise, and therefore learning a language involves memorizing rules and vocabulary, which

helps strengthen that mental muscle. While learning about languages, a growing child develops

empathy for others and a curiosity for various cultures and ideas. In addition, the more languages

one knows, the more career opportunities one receives. According to a Cornell study conducted

by two linguistic researchers, learning an additional language doesn’t cause language confusion,

language delay, or a cognitive deficit, which were concerns in previous years. Learning multiple

languages enables the person to maintain attention despite outside stimuli. Younger children

unconsciously pick up on the language that surrounds them because of their tendency to absorb

information. However, adults and older children have to consciously learn the information which

makes it harder because sometimes the information gets lost or disassociated. Studies support the

idea that knowing multiple languages delays Alzheimer’s disease in susceptible people for about

five years.

To teach the learning of a new language, one should put the young child in situations where

the second language surrounds them. Also, maintain the home language when a second language

is learned outside. Expose the children to multilingual settings and give them plenty of

opportunities to play with children that speak the second language they are trying to learn. In

addition to exposing children to other children that speak the language, they are trying to learn,

provide some fun and interactive language-learning environments, such as music, dance, and film,
in both languages. Also, one can tell a story in the language they are trying to learn. One should

be encouraging in the children’s’ effort to learning a new language by maintaining a positive

attitude.