At SISD, we don’t just want to create better students – we want to develop our children holistically, so that they get a headstart towards becoming successful and productive members of society.
In that respect, we’ve often brought up the advantages of bilingualism for students in their education and the future workforce, but there’s so much more in store for children than just being better workers or students.
In today’s article, we look at 5 major benefits of bilingualism that can improve your child’s outlook, especially if they start their exposure at an early age.
1. Improved creativity
One of the most interesting benefits of bilingualism for children is that they may end up being better problem-solvers. This leads to improved performance at school and in the workforce later in life. However, another impact of this is that bilingual children may also exhibit greater creativity, as well as better knowledge retention and improved focus on tasks.
2. Greater communication skills
It’s no secret that being fluent in more languages makes you a better communicator. Bilingualism doesn’t just allow people to communicate with more people and more cultures, it also allows them to see things from different perspectives and viewpoints, whether cultural or otherwise. That doesn’t just make for better problem-solving skills – it also promotes greater empathy too.
3. More cultural awareness, open-mindeness and sensitivity
Being able to see from multiple cultural viewpoints also leads to greater culture awareness overall. Children get used to seeing the perspectives of other cultures that might be very different from their own native culture, and this translates to a stronger appreciation of the fact that other people may see things differently.
The result? More respect and sensitivity towards other cultures, and even a more open-minded approach to life. These are valuable traits for collaboration and cross-cultural communication, which many international students are likely to experience later in life.
4. Improved executive function
We’ve previously described how bilingualism improves executive function in children. What does this mean for normal life?
Executive function governs tasks such as working memory, multitasking, and focus – all of which are valuable skills to develop for any environment. By improving one’s baseline executive function abilities, they can juggle multiple tasks, organize their thoughts, improve their project management abilities, and reduce their susceptibility to distractions. These have benefits in work, in play, in passion projects – just about anything that one puts their mind and heart into will be better served.
5. Reduced risk of neurodegenerative disease
Neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia can be held at bay by exercising your brain and harnessing your cognitive functions constantly. Bilingualism is shown to be among the different traits that are associated with delayed onset of dementia. This means that it literally be healthy to be bilingual!
Our bilingual support
At SISD, we acknowledge not only the advantages of bilingualism, but also the best way to approach it with our students. We provide full immersion in a diverse, multicultural environment, complete with mother-tongue speaker teachers and personalised education to provide support wherever needed. We have multiple bilingual streams for our students to choose from, and we also have after-school activities that can promote further language education.
Children at SISD have everything they need to build a strong bilingual foundation, and carry these and other benefits to the rest of their lives!