Knowing more than one language is not as common as it should be here in the United States. In fact, only around 17% of all people in this country speak a second language as fluently (or nearly as fluently) as they are able to speak English. However, it has been found that, on a global scale, up to two thirds of all children can speak more than one language. After all, the benefits of being bilingual are many – and are only growing as time continues to pass ever onward.
For one thing, the world is growing more and more multilingual with each passing year. There are more Spanish speakers found throughout the United States than ever before – and there are actually up to 21 countries who currently have Spanish as the national language. This means that well over 400 million people speak Spanish throughout the world – a great deal more than even English speakers. Therefore, learning Spanish is a skill that your child (or yourself, for that matter) is likely to utilize all throughout their lives.
Spanish speaking students who also speak English are also likely to be able to pick up a third language, as knowing two languages actually has been found to make it quite a bit easier to learn even more. This can then lead to better pay at whatever jobs such people end up working in their adult years, as bilingual employees have been found to make up to 20% more than their counterparts who can only speak one language. But why are so few of us bilingual if being bilingual is so very important?
When it comes down to it, it is due to the fact that the most of us are not introduced to languages early on in our childhoods and by the time that we begin to learn them in school, we have already reached the age where picking up on languages is becoming harder and harder with each passing year. For while countries outside of the United States typically mandate that language learning begin before children reach the age of eight, here in this country it is not uncommon for language learning classes to not be introduced until junior high school – or even later on, for that matter. Unfortunately, this puts American students at a huge disadvantage when it comes to language learning.
The data that has been gathered on the subject more than backs this up. This data shows that introducing something such as a Spanish curriculum or other such language curriculum will be best done before the child in question reaches the age of five. Most ideally, all language learning through a Spanish curriculum or the like will begin at least before the age of ten. This is due to the fact that children who are under the age of six are best able to pick up not only simply on the foreign sounds introduced to them through something like a Spanish curriculum for kids, but also the grammar rules that come along with it. And getting a Spanish curriculum for children present in this window is also key, as children falling between the ages of eight and 12 are already losing their natural ability to pick up languages. Fortunately, a Spanish curriculum is something that can be introduced in a number of different ways.
For one thing, Spanish language immersion programs include an intensive Spanish curriculum. Children who attend such a Spanish language immersion program are likely to be fluent in Spanish by the time that they age out of it. In addition to this, even just Spanish for preschools in small amounts can make a big difference in the ability of the preschool students to pick up on a language. Introducing a Spanish curriculum at an early age will even make it easier to continue Spanish instruction much later on in life, allowing students to learn more complex topics and understand even better the rules and history behind such a language, something that can certainly be said not just of the Spanish language, but of any language to be learned out there.