There are about 55 million Latinos in the U.S., but only about half of them speak Spanish. Being bilingual is a beautiful thing, as it lets someone understand their culture, which is often lost in the United States when children become acculturated to the American culture. That’s why it’s so important for children to adopt and learn the language of origin because it not only allows for better cognitive function but a better, enriched life.
Teaching children Spanish should start as early as possible. Parents can begin teaching them basic words or even encouraging them to watch bilingual educational programmings, such as Sesame Street or Dora The Explorer. Reading to children in Spanish and even introducing them to basic words while having dinner helps. Using these engaging methods to introduce young children to bilingualism at an early stage gives them an opportunity to learn quickly.
What Are The Benefits?
There are four important benefits to a child being bilingual:
1. Emotional Benefits
- Communication with an extended family —Children who can communicate fluently across cultural and generational boundaries in their family units tend to stay closer to those families and rely on them more for support. There is also less chance that a child will feel marginalized at family gatherings.
- Expressing yourself in your mother tongue brings a level of intimacy that lets you connect on another level.
- Not all parents learned a second language from their parents. They may want their children to experience learning a second language.