Smarty's 5 C's of Early Language Learning: Benefits that Last a Lifetime
Children's brains are uniquely wired to easily and naturally learn a second language. Early second language learners also enhance their overall mentalability, build self-esteem, and acquire cultural understanding that will benefit them for a lifetime, both in school and in their careers.
Capture the Critical Period
Learning a second language young:
- The Window of Opportunity to Learn Easily
Research shows that a child's brain is especially receptive to learning a second language from birth to about age 10 or 12.
- Changes in the Brain
A child's brain will actually build new synapses in response to experiences. "The child who learns piano (for example) will learn those connections and 20 years later will learn to play the piano again easier than someone who has not studied it. Harry Chugani neuroscientist at Wayne State University
- Children's Brains treat a Second Language the Same as their Native Language
Children who learn a second language early store both their native and second language in the same locations in the brain. Older children may have a harder time because their brain has to do extra work to create additional space for the second language. Joy Hirsch, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Cornell University Medical College.
- Young children are able to reproduce a native accent flawlessly
As a rule, the younger the children are, the better their accent will be, especially if they've had some foreign language training before learning to read English.