Great communication and social skills are an indicator of success and happiness in life. You probably already know that knowing more than one language is likely to help your child succeed academically. But you may not know about all the social benefits they'll reap.
Research has shown that exposure to multiple languages promotes more effective communication. In the study, researchers looked at two groups: kids raised in homes with either one or multiple languages spoken. They found that children raised in multilingual environments were better able to take another person's perspective, while the other children had difficulty completing the task.
The study also showed that even minimal exposure to at least two languages greatly improved their ability to see from another's perspective! How does improved perspective-taking affect communication? It makes conversations more meaningful and deep, and it means you're better able to understand others' feelings. This affects how they grow relationships in the community, at work and with friends and family.
Social skills lead to success
When one learns a second language, they're more willing to accept feedback, since learning a new language comes with mistakes. When a child can accept criticism and learn, they'll be able to improve in all aspects of life— not just language and communication.
Your child's listening skills will improve, too! When you're absorbing a new language, you must listen to understand how words are pronounced. You also must pay attention to the way the words are put together and where emphasis should be put. This ability to listen with intent leads to more understanding and empathy.
Being multilingual effectively opens a child's world to more people and cultures. This shows up in many ways. They can watch a movie and not need subtitles, or they can surprise native speakers by speaking their tongue and form new connections! Making friends with people different than themselves helps children be open-minded and appreciate cultural differences.
Now we've learned all the awesome benefits when children are raised in a multilingual home. All that's left to do is choose which language your child will learn!