The ever increasing role that Asia is playing in the future of both Australia and New Zealand, and in particular the economic and social importance of China as a regional neighbour and trading partner for both countries, is not “new” news. And, specifically as it pertains to second language learning, much has been written on the potential benefits to this relationship by developing Chinese language education in Australian and New Zealand schools. A good and mutually beneficial relationship will require a pool of Ausies and Kiwis who have a good understanding of the country and its culture and who’ve learnt to speak the Mandarin Chinese language well.
However, a recent report on ABC news brings a new perspective to this discussion from the Australian point of view, with experts saying that not only will the inclusion of Asian languages in the national curriculum go a long way to enhancing this relationship; it could also help curb racial discrimination.
… it comes with physical and psychological health benefits as well
Thanks to multiple studies on the The benefits of learning another language, we’re all now much more familiar with the many cognitive gains that come from learning, and being able to communicate in, a second language. And it follows on that this has enabled us to better appreciate why beginning the language learning journey in your child’s early years – when new cognitive connections are most readily formed – can make the difference between knowing another language, and owning it.
But did you know that the benefits extend beyond cognitive brain function and into the realm of physiological and overall wellbeing too?
(Read on for full infographic)
It gets their children using the language quickly and naturally
“As parents, we know that engaging pre-schoolers in any activity, particularly new activities, is a big challenge but I have found the Spanish group teacher has all the right tricks through song, dance and group activities to bring even the shyest toddler along and engaged in learning. My three year old takes a while to open up but wow with only two lessons she has become mad keen to sing along in Spanish after each lesson, she sings in the car, at home and can’t wait for Friday to come along and use her new skills. Not only is she picking up words in Spanish at the speed of lightning but it also doing wonders for her confidence in a group setting.’ Thank you. (Susie, Adelaide)
“Since joining the French for Kids Club, Alexandra is exciting about anything to do about Paris, Eiffel Tower, French etc. She likes to learn more about French at home and me and my wife just can’t believe how she pronounce the words with the French accent.” (French for Kids club, Newcastle, NSW)
An experience of France, Spain or Italy without the travelling!
Most parents dream of travelling internationally with their kids one day, and introducing them to the many varied and wonderful cultures of the world. But the family budget, whether one of time or money, is not always on the same page as your dreams!
The world is changing and technology has connected continents like never before. Within seconds, we hear about triumphs or tragedies happening in far off places. This is the world in which our children live and we have the privilege, and the responsibility, of introducing them to its beauties, its cultures, and even its challenges.
We can help give children an opportunity to discover and learn about another culture, its language and its traditions.
LCF Fun Languages are pleased to be offering schools the chance to have a complimentary culture session. Games, food, songs, activities and local culture for children to enjoy.
Our one hour sessions are aimed at introducing children to the culture and a little bit of language, the main aim is to engage children’s imagination so they want to know more.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” – William Butler Yeats
With most parents already recognising the many benefits that learning a second language can give their children, they are also now realising that second language skills are becoming increasingly important in a progressively global and homogenised world. The benefits of learning a foreign language are not confined to only the cognitive, social and behavioural benefits either, but extend to a child’s future prospects as well, the most obvious of which is their career opportunities.
There are many great advantages to being proficient in more than one language, and increased employability is definitely one of them. Not only does a multi-lingual person have a lot of choice when it comes to which countries in the world they can work, but they also have a larger variety of employment opportunities to choose from.
This graphic, courtesy of the Aussie government, gives a great representation of some fantastic career opportunities that are open to those of us with more than one language, as well as showing the necessary skill levels required for the job. You can view the full size image and download it for future reference here