Foreign Language(s) for Children
Studies have shown that bilingualism has positive effects on children's linguistic and educational development. When children continue to develop their abilities in two or more languages throughout their primary school years, they gain a deeper understanding of language and how to use it effectively. They have more practice in processing language, especially when they develop literacy in both, and they are able to compare and contrast the ways in which their two languages organize reality. Research suggests that bilingual children may also develop more flexibility in their thinking as a result of processing information through two different languages. Additional benefits that has been shown is that children that learn more than one language:
Learning Chinese has additional benefits. A BBC News article, “Chinese ‘Takes More Brain Power’” reported on a study conducted by researchers from the Wellcome Trust, found that “people who speak Mandarin Chinese use both temporal lobes of their brain to understand the language.” This is very different than English-language speakers who use only the left temporal lobe (June, 2003). In addition, he practice of handwriting, especially of Chinese characters, will aid the development of motor skills, learning shapes and letters, the visual identification of graphics, and will keep the mind sharp. Newer research from New Zealand also suggests that Asian children educated in their own language, grasp mathematical concepts sooner than their English counter-parts.