Why can choosing a bilingual school be a gift to your child?
Because exposing your children to more than one language early on can benefit them in the future.
There are many reasons to support this.
The belief of ‘the younger the better’; the idea that young children are intrinsically better language learners and will therefore become more proficient more quickly.
We live in a globalised world, where intercultural competence is essential and that it is important to awaken children’s interests in other people and cultures at a time when they are open and receptive.
There are also more recent arguments based on the cognitive advantages that learning a foreign language can bring; such as enhanced problem solving, attention span or the ability to switch tasks as well as the claim that it can help with literacy in English.
A recent article in The Times pointed out that pupils who speak English fluently as a second language do better than native speakers throughout their whole time at school.
Bilingual pupils who speak English as their second language outperform native Britons throughout their school years, researchers found.
The study by Oxford University suggests that fluent bilingual pupils, without English as their mother tongue, outperform their classmates at every age.
Researchers looked at the results of 14,000 pupils across 15,000 schools in six local authorities deemed to be representative of the country, the Times reported.
The study found that bilingual children were stronger at school than their monolingual peers at the ages of five, seven, eleven and at their GCSEs.
Thomas Bak, a cognitive neuroscientist who specialises in the benefits of bilingualism, said: “The realisation that learning languages is a great asset is making its way, albeit slowly, into the general consciousness.”
You can read the full article here.