Updated: May 3, 2022
A Dozen Benefits of Raising Bilingual Kids
Being bilingual has so many benefits! Not only can it help improve your child's communication skills, but it can also open up a world of cultural opportunities. And let's not forget, it can be great for your own communication skills too. Here are some of the top benefits of being bilingual:
1. Improved communication skills – Being bilingual can help improve your child's communication skills overall. They will be better equipped to understand and express concepts in both languages and will have an easier time understanding others who speak a different language.
2. Deeper parent-child connection – It’s not about excluding others in your surroundings, but there’s just something truly special about saying a unique phrase in your native tongue that brings encouragement and comfort to your child. No one else may understand it but this creates a unique bond in that moment. Or when you say a sentence to your kid that can redirect their misbehavior in a discrete manner and not embarrass them. Bilingualism comes in handy here so they don't feel like we just put them on blast!😳
3. Cultural opportunities – By raising your child bilingual, you'll open up a whole world of cultural opportunities for them. They'll be more open and better equipped to experience other cultures firsthand and learn about different ways of life.
4. Improved cognitive skills – Bilingualism has been shown to improve cognitive skills, such as problem solving, decision making, and critical thinking.
5. Improved memory – Studies have shown that bilinguals have a better memory than those who only know one language. This is likely because bilinguals are constantly using their brains to switch between languages.
6. Improved dexterity – Bilingual children have been shown to have better dexterity than monolingual children. This is likely since bilinguals tend to be proficient in both languages, and as a result, they become better at tasks that require fine motor skills.
7. Improved self-esteem -We’ve witnessed it! When an adult speaks to one of our children in Spanish and they are able to hold a short conversation, they get a proud look in their eyes and a big smile. Carrying even a brief conversation with another human, and the excitement because both parties understandd one another, can definitely boost self-confidence.
8. Greater career opportunities – Being bilingual can give your child an edge when it comes to their career later in life. They'll be able to work in a wider range of jobs, and will be better prepared to work with people from different cultures.
9. Improved mental health – Bilingualism has been shown to have a positive effect on mental health. Bilinguals are less likely to suffer from depression, and are more likely to have a positive self-image.
10. Better academic performance – Research has shown that bilingual children tend to have better academic performance than monolingual children. This is likely because bilingualism helps improve cognitive skills and problem solving abilities.
11. Improved social skills – Bilingual children tend to be more outgoing and have better social skills than monolingual children. Because they're likely used to communicating with people from different cultures, and as a result, they're more open-minded and tolerant.
12. A unique perspective – Bilingualism gives your child a unique perspective on the world. They'll be able to see things from different angles, and learn about other cultures in a way that monolinguals can't.
With so many benefits, it's no wonder more and more parents are raising their children bilingual! Whether you're raising a bilingual child or are considering becoming bilingual yourself, there are plenty of benefits to be gained. So what are you waiting for? Start learning a new language together today!
Check out our Resources Page for some tools to support bilingual education in your home.
Yesica Trawick and Nicole Cordova are the founders of the nonprofit organization Angelitos Spanish Immersion Education, Inc. and the Co-Directors for Angelitos Preschool, in Woodbridge, Virginia.