Why You Should Be Raising Your Child To Be Bilingual
Updated: Apr 21
The benefits of bilingualism
I’ve always been envious of people who can pick up new languages easily.
You know the type: fluent in four languages by the age of twelve, as well as ‘school-level’ English. Which turns out to be to a higher level than a lot of native English speakers.
I might be fluent in Spanish now, at the age of 29, but not after a lot of blood, sweat and tears went into it at university. My French is now pretty much just a distant memory as my Spanish dominates completely.
Now a Brit married to a Spaniard, it’s only natural that we raise our daughter to be bilingual. And I have to say, I’m a little envious of the wonderful opportunity she’s going to have. Simply by being born into a bilingual family.
Bilingualism has many benefits, which can be divided into these categories.
We want our daughter to be bilingual for practical as well as developmental reasons. None of my family speaks anything beyond beginner’s Spanish, while the same can be said for my in-laws with English. So being bilingual will mean she can communicate with both sides of the family.
Far into the future (she’s not even 2 yet!) her bilingualism could open many doors for her professionally as she’ll be able to communicate with a larger number of people. Purely because the two languages native to her will be English and Spanish, two of the world’s most spoken languages
That means more job opportunities will be open to her. She may also be more willing to accept jobs in other countries as the language won’t be a barrier for her.
Bilingualism will also make travel for pleasure easier for her. If she can communicate well with the locals, she’ll have a much more fulfilling experience than if she didn’t understand the language at all.
In terms of development and skills, she’ll find it easier to pick up a third language.
Research also shows that bilingual people have better mental abilities, compared with monolinguals, like the ability to focus on important information and ignore irrelevant information. This can then aid their productivity in related tasks, especially when multitasking.
Bilingualism can also lead to improved problem-solving skills and creative thinking.
These aspects will aid her learning development as she progresses through school.
If you are able to raise your child to be bilingual, take it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a multilingual family or a monolingual one.
These developmental foundations and skills will help your child go far in life.
As the philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said:
“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world.”
Are you raising your child to be bilingual, or multilingual? What other benefits do you think it brings? Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog.