Learning a foreign language is exciting and interesting. The first time a student understands a phrase in a foreign language can be a breakthrough moment. The light bulb switches on and they’re motivated to learn more and more. In our English language classes for children at OISE we see this time and time again. Some children may arrive at OISE knowing very little and can feel overwhelmed by learning English, yet they will leave feeling positive and confident in their new abilities, with a new found love for learning a foreign language.Learning to speak a foreign language does take time and commitment however, so why learn a foreign language in the first place, and why English language classes for children?
Open up a whole new world
By learning a foreign language children can learn so much about countries and even continents where that language is spoken. They can speak to the people who live there, read books and magazines written in that language, understand the descriptions about artefacts in far-flung museums and comprehend what people are talking about in the streets and shops. They can really get under the skin of a country rather than being a passive by-stander.
By getting to grips with a foreign language children could go on to live and work abroad with ease. Learning the language will enable them to travel around a country without getting stuck looking through a phrase book at the bus station; it will allow them to one day rent a property whilst understanding the small print, and make friends with the local people without awkward silences or gestures!
Extend job opportunities
Being able to speak a foreign language looks good on a CV as well as opening up a broader range of job opportunities at home and abroad. Even if children don’t end up using their foreign language skills in their job, being bi-lingual is an impressive skill to have and a great talking point in an interview.
Get good at multitasking
Children find it particularly easy to switch between two languages. According to a study from the Pennsylvania State University, this skill also makes them good multitaskers because they can easily adapt to different structures.
Improve memory function
It’s a fact that the brain functions better with exercise, and learning a foreign language is a great brain exercise that involves remembering rules and vocabulary. Multiple language speakers are therefore often better at memorising things such as lists, names and directions.
Increased awareness of surroundings
A study from Spain’s University of Pompeu Fabra has shown that multi-linguals are more aware of their surroundings. They’re also better at spotting misleading information, editing out the irrelevant and focusing on the relevant.
Better scores in other subjects
Studies have shown that children who learn a foreign language also improve their grades in maths, and generally perform better in their native language in other subjects.These are all excellent reasons why your family or school may wish to embark upon English language classes for children. Most importantly, learning a foreign language is a new experience that will educate children, boost their confidence and help them to become well-rounded and open minded about the world we live in. If you are looking for English language classes for children, OISE offers intensive and immersive courses, including residential and homestay opportunities. Classes are available for children from the age of seven, up to university students as well as professionals.
Contact the OISE team to find out about English language classes for children and more.