School can be a tough place for kids – they have to contend with difficult work, scary teachers and mean classmates. Why would you want to make that harder by making them do it in two different languages? Well, it turns out that there are a number of benefits to be gained from your kids having a bilingual education.
A variety of brain benefits
Learning a language has a significant impact on cognition and how we learn. The impact is even greater when we are still young. A study in Canada found that children who have a bilingual education have better developed Executive Control Systems. This is important because these systems govern a number of skills, including problem-solving, planning, organizing and emotional intelligence. All of these skills are essential to success in the future, both in terms of professional and personal lives.
They stand out in the job market
Imagine being an employer and seeing two resumes with nearly identical skills and experiences, except that one candidate is also fluent in German. Becoming fluent in a second language is something that takes effort, determination, skill, and intelligence – all qualities that you, as an employer, would definitely be looking for. As well as being indicative of other skills, having another language under your belt means that your job opportunities extend to employers in countries that speak that language.
It opens up geographic possibilities
If your kids knew how to speak English only, while there are plenty of countries that can speak it, they would be restricted in their choice of places to live and work. However, if they knew Mandarin, too, there are 1.1 billion other people that they can speak to, who would otherwise remain, strangers, if they didn’t know their language. This opens up new opportunities for jobs and places to live that they simply wouldn’t have if they didn’t speak a second language.
International schooling offers many benefits
One way that your kids could become bilingual is if you send them to an international school. Just sending your kids to an international school is a benefit in itself. These schools often have a focus on languages and will strongly encourage your kids to learn a new one. They are often well funded, with high-quality staff and facilities, leading to a better educational experience for your kids. There are international schools all over the world, including Hong Kong. There are great schools available if you are interested in a Hong Kong international school for your kids.
More opportunities for friendships
If you can speak another language then you unlock a whole new swathe of people to become friends with, because you can understand each other. This opens up a new world of friendship and relationship possibilities for your children since they can go to new countries and speak to local people in their language. Speaking another language will generally expose your child to new experiences that they wouldn’t otherwise have.