Like a clock striking midnight, here are twelve quick reasons why kids should learn Spanish:
1. A Fourth of the World speaks it
2. Get to know your neighbors
In Los Angeles County, 39 percent of residents, age 5 and older (3,711,836 persons), speak Spanish at home.(3) Kids growing up in Los Angeles should learn Spanish because, according to these statistics, almost 2 in every 5 persons they come across will speak Spanish.
3. Have richer travel experiences
21 countries of the world have Spanish as their official language.(4) Learning Spanish will enable more effective communication for both a richer and safer trip should you get the travel bug and want to visit beautiful places such as Spain, Mexico, or Colombia.
4. Spanish resources are easy to find.
In the age of the world wide web, countless Spanish story books, audio books, activity books, videos, and language apps are available free online for children. It’s not, “where can I find Spanish resources?” but rather “which ones do I choose?” Tutoring and online programs (we’ve heard of a good one called Cultural Bytes, clic here to find resource) are also easily accessible with a quick search on the internet.
5. Develop early language skills.
Kids should take advantage of their early years when their brains are still developing and acquiring language skills comes easier, including the ability to pronounce unfamiliar, foreign sounds and acquire new vocabulary.
6. Increase your focus.
According to an article published by Annual Review of Linguistics, “the brain areas responsible for that are also used when you’re trying to complete a task while there are distractions. The task could have nothing to do with language; it could be trying to listen to something in a noisy environment or doing some visual task. The muscle memory developed from using two languages also can apply to different skills.”(5)
7. Understand English better.
Do you know what a present participle is? How about an infinitive? The process of learning Spanish and the grammar behind it will help your child understand the building blocks of language that they can then apply to understanding English grammar.
8. Obtenga una ventaja académica.
En muchas escuelas secundarias públicas y privadas de los EE. UU., una clase de un segundo idioma es una materia optativa obligatoria y la mayoría de los estudiantes eligen español. Incluso si sus hijos son pequeños, comience a prepararlos ahora para sus ‘ clases de español ‘.
9. Expand future employment options.
Employers keep an eye out for bilingual applicants, especially in Los Angeles. The earlier a child starts learning, the quicker they will become fluent and be qualified for more opportunities.
10. Be exposed to a new culture.
While it’s important to form habits and familiar structures your child to grow up under, it’s also good to expose your child to new things and broaden their horizons. Speaking Spanish will open the door to a rich and historically influential culture that looks a little different than their own.
11. It’s easier than you think.
Hundreds of words like ‘animal, hospital, actor, color and doctor’ mean the same things in English and Spanish; it’s only the pronunciation that differs. Spanish is the easiest next language for English-speaking children to pick up.
12. It’s fun!
Of course there are difficult aspects of language learning that a child will have to endure and push through, but with encouraging teachers and exciting activities, learning Spanish can be a lot of fun, too!
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