Around the world today, roughly 66% of children speak two, or more, languages, yet in the United States, that number drops to just 17%. Such a significant difference is remarkable, and this lack of focus on foreign language development puts American children at a disadvantage in the global community as they grow older. It falls on parents to prevent this disservice to their children, and Spanish often is selected as the best choice. For those considering this path, explained here will be the reasons to teach younger children, why to choose Spanish in particular and the benefits for children as they grow.
Why Teach Younger Children?
It used to be believed that young children were the worst candidates for learning a foreign language, and it was better to begin at middle school age or later. This mistaken idea has been fading after multiple studies in various fields have produced results to contradict the group consensus. Children naturally develop language skills until their eighth year, then gradually lose the ability to hear and reproduce new sounds by the age of 12. The best time to teach a child a new language is prior to age five ideally, but at least before they turn 10.
Why Teach Children Spanish?
Accordingly to recent census data, 387 million people are native Spanish speakers and 414 million people who speak the language total, making it the second most widely spoken language in the world. Many in America might be tempted to believe English ranks number one, but that is actually Chinese, with English as the third. So, why choose a Spanish curriculum instead of Chinese? That can be answered by geography, and the position of the United States in North America. The population in this hemisphere, when they do not speak English, will more often than not speak Spanish.
The Benefits of a Preschool Spanish Curriculum
A preschool Spanish curriculum will open the doors to a greater understanding of the world, both on the basic level of understanding the actual words of others, and in a more complex comprehension of the global community as a diverse and many faceted population. Furthermore, a child who has the benefits of either an elementary school Spanish curriculum or a homeschool Spanish curriculum with gain financial benefits as well. They will have more job opportunities in adulthood and make more on average. Currently, individuals that are bilingual make 20 cents an hour more than those who are not.
Not all parents are able to provide a preschool Spanish curriculum for their children, and those who are able to do so, either through home schooling or the few American schools that offer it, are indeed lucky. Taking advantage of that opportunity to teach young children Spanish provides them with great advantages later, so, to those considering such an option, choose yes.