Should your child learn a second language?

There are many classes for students to choose from when they reach high school age. It can be difficult to select which ones will be the most interesting and potentially apply to postsecondary education and future careers. One common option that your kids should consider is to learn a new language. Here's why:

Improved comprehension
Studying a different language is actually helpful for English, too. Overall comprehension and reading improves when kids spend time learning another language as well as working on their native tongue. High schoolers often take courses like English literature or composition, and pairing those with a new language may prove helpful for overall understanding.

Better standardized testing
The Common Core digs deeply into various topics. Instead of simply memorizing vocabulary words, students must really understand what they're reading. Learning a second language helps many kids improve their reasoning skills, as well as their ability to glean the meaning of a word they don't know from the sentence it is in. This comes in handy during the Common Core and other standardized tests, and it may even lead to better grades. 

Improved communication skills
As students move on to getting part-time and eventually full-time jobs, they'll learn the importance of being able to talk to other people. Working with superiors, being on a team of employees and even managing all require the ability to communicate effectively. Learning a new language can help your kids talk to people from other places, as well as assist them in looking for facial cues and other nonverbal communication. This ability is helpful both in school and as your children move on to professional lives.

Increased hireability
According to Early Childhood Education Zone, the number of people who speak a language other than English at home increased by 140 percent between 1980 and 2007. When applying for jobs in the future, your kids may face competing potential hires that speak more than one language. Help your children get a leg up on the competition by encouraging them to try a new language at an early age. Because young brains are still forming, it is easier for them to learn another language other than their native tongue. The longer they speak a new language, the better they'll be when it comes time for a big interview in the future. 

Better cultural understanding
The current world is becoming increasingly diverse. Even small towns in rural areas are seeing an influx of residents moving in from different places. In order to flourish in these diverse situations, students must understand other cultures. While they don't need to memorize every aspect of life in every country in the world, it is helpful to learn a second language. Not only will your kids gain insight into how to speak to other people from different places, they'll also be exposed to new music, religious beliefs, values and styles of living.

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