Anglia Ruskin University has confirmed that learning a language in childhood will equip you with better multitasking skills than if you aren’t bilingual.
Learning a language as a little one increases a child’s attentiveness and ability to juggle multiple thoughts and tasks.
It’s just another great reason why children have everything to gain from learning a language. Languages are useful and pleasurable life skills. They present many opportunities in adulthood that aren’t so forthcoming in the absence of language skills.
The University’s study does have a sting in its tail though. The multi-tasking benefit doesn’t work so well in reverse for people learning a language beyond their formative years.
It concluded that “those who learned a language as teenagers or adults were 50% slower in a test which measured how fast they can shift their attention”.
It’s understandable considering that younger minds are more elastic and open to absorbing input like sponges. Whereas adult minds become more conditioned and closed to anything new and unfamiliar. It’s reflected in the way children find learning a language easier than adults do.
My friend Ellie is living proof of this theory. She recently moved to rural France with her family, including her 7 year old son. His experience of learning a language has been quicker and more spontaneous than his Mum’s.
Helping and supervising her son during home-schooling has had a dramatic effect on her knowledge of and confidence in French.
Reading instructions, getting feedback on her pronunciation and being more agile with understanding numbers have all helped.
She tells me it’s been most noticeable when she realised she can note down a phone number without listening to a voicemail several times! Result.
At La Academia we firmly believe that learning a language in childhood should be fun and inspirational besides educational. We teach language lessons in nurseries and also offer children’s language lessons that include films, games and songs to help bring languages to life.
Interested? Please get in touch.
T – 0161 491 1444
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Bilingual children grown up to be better at multitasking and reading body signals, study finds – Phoebe Southworth, The Telegraph