How will learning French help my child

How will learning French help my child

So you’re picking a second language for your child to learn. That’s great! No matter what language you choose or how your child learns it (at school, on their own time, in a language immersion class, or otherwise), there are all sorts of benefits in store for them.

That said, why not pop on a beret, light some candles to set the mood, and give French a try? Let’s go over six of the biggest benefits of learning French for kids.

What are the benefits of learning foreign languages?

First, we should remind ourselves of the positive effects of learning foreign languages in general. Research suggests that bilingualism can have all sorts of cognitive benefits — specifically on executive function, which covers everything from attention span and the ability to multitask to creative thinking skills. Some studies have even found that bilingual brains have more gray matter volume and stronger white matter than monolingual brains.

Even better, once your child learns a second language, these positive effects can snowball, as it then becomes easier for them to learn more languages down the line (like Spanish or German).

How will learning French help my child?

But what are the benefits of learning French specifically? Here are six reasons why French is a second language par excellence for kids.

1. French is useful all around the world

French is one of the few truly international lingua francas. It’s one of the top five most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 300 million speakers across every continent, and it’s also the second most popular language for foreign language learning. This widespread adoption feeds into many of the other benefits of learning French—

2. French opens new doors for travel

—such as French’s benefits for travel! Of course, France is one of the world’s top tourist destinations. But there’s a whole world of French-speaking areas beyond France to explore — everywhere from Polynesia to Belgium to Québec — and knowing French also makes these places so much richer and more rewarding for your child to explore, now and in the future.

3. French helps you compete for international jobs

By learning French, your child can explore career opportunities abroad — in economic powerhouses like France and growing powers across Africa and elsewhere — and back home in North America. Plus, French and English are a particularly sought-after professional combination, making French a natural second language for English speakers.

4. French connects you to culture and history

Your child can tap into France’s rich history and deep appreciation for culture and the arts by learning French. French fluency will give them the ability to read great works of literature by Victor Hugo and Léopold Sédar Senghor and watch great cinematic works by François Truffaut and Claire Denis (maybe wait until they’re a little older for some of her movies, now that we think about it) in the original French.

5. French is easy to learn

French is similar to English in many ways, so it’s one of the easier second languages for English speakers to pick up. And because so many people are studying French as a foreign language, there’s a wealth of learning resources and communities that you and your child can take advantage of.

6. French is beautiful

There’s a reason why French is called the language of love. It’s beautiful and melodious to speak and listen to, and that ineffable quality could be just the extra push that your child needs to commit to learning a second language.

7. Improved Cognitive Abilities

Many studies have shown that those who know a second language demonstrate higher cognitive and creative abilities than those who are unilingual.

What’s more, in a study published by Annals Neurology, there are claims that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years.

8. A Launchpad to Learn Other Languages

Does your child love Spanish? Or Italian?

Well, French is an excellent language to learn if your child would like to learn any other Romance language in the future.

Once your child is fluent in French, learning Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian will feel like second nature!
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