Many parents are keen to get their kids into sports. Athletics are a great way to keep kids fit and healthy, as well as a way to get them outdoors, making friends and learning interesting skills. Nobody denies these great benefits of doing sports.

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What we are worried about, however, is when people start to ignore other invaluable extracurricular activities like language learning. Studying a second language may not boost your muscle mass or get you an athletic scholarship to an Ivy League school, but it has many other benefits that should never be forgotten.

🧭 It adds a whole new dimension to travel

Young people are increasingly choosing to take time off between high school and college, or before grad school. They frequently use this time to travel and experience new things in other countries. Knowing the language of a country they ultimately visit will help make that experience all the more powerful. It will allow them to see beneath the surface, and to delve into parts of the experience that non-speakers of that language would never be able to do.

🧠 Language learning improves their cognitive abilities

Research has shown that kids with proficiency in a second language have markedly better cognitive abilities, which improves their test scores in other subjects. Perhaps it’s because the challenge of learning a new language makes everything else seem that much easier. In any event, the results are in, and language learning has benefits that stretch far beyond gaining new vocabulary and being more independent when traveling overseas.

🌍 It broadens kids’ minds and gives a window into other cultures

It’s one thing to read about another culture in a book written in your mother tongue. It’s a more profound thing to read about the same topic in the original language from which it comes. A country’s language is the very building block of its culture, and so understanding that language offers fresh perspective and insight. In the long term, the benefit to kids as they grow up and form their world views is beyond measure.

In short, encouraging all of our kids to learn a second language is a huge step to making the world a better place.

😜 It’s fun!

Whoever said that academic learning had to be dull? Language teachers often employ original and creative methods of teaching that kids find engaging and entertaining. Gone are the days of the old school master in black gown and mortarboard, pointing at verbs on a blackboard asking you to repeat after them. Given the scope of materials available, and the number of different language choices out there, learning a second language gives kids a lot of ability to tailor a learning experience that suits them best and is great fun.

πŸ“ˆ It will enhance their future prospects!

As companies become more global, attracting talent that is fluent or at least competent in a second or even third language is very valuable. Having young employees in a country like the US that can speak to suppliers in China, as well as customers in Mexico and Latin America is like having gold dust. Not only this, but knowing multiple languages will also open up an entire world of overseas work opportunities where their language skills are useful!

πŸŽ‰ Get started!

Are you interested in really, finally learning a new language? Here at LanguageConvo we connect you with a professional, native-speaking teacher for affordable, customized private lessons. Get started with a 100% free trial lesson by clicking here.