There are few greater gifts you could give your child than the opportunity to learn a second language.
We are fortunate that in Australia we speak English, which is a universal language, and therefore a lot of doors around the world automatically open for us.
However, fluency in a second language will open up a whole new world of possibilities to your child. And there are reported health, social and intellectual benefits as well.
It’s estimated that more than half the world’s population is bilingual, according to Psychology Today. In celebration of this phenomenon, the 4th Feast of Multilingualism Language Paths, Thessaloniki, a Multilingual City 2016, was held from 27-29 May.
There is plenty of evidence from reputable studies that a second language provides multiple benefits to children throughout their lifetime – not only professionally, but socially.
Here are five ways in which the life of your child will be enriched by possessing the skill of a second language:
1. Children learning to speak another language tend to have more knowledge and understanding around language usage – not only of the new language they are learning, but their mother tongue as well. The reason is simply because the learning process forces them to discover how language itself works. Children tend to develop a greater vocabulary over age in their mother tongue.
2. You can expect sharper brain function including listening, memory recall, better problem solving, improved critical thinking, greater cognitive flexibility, verbal and spatial abilities.
3. People who speak more than one language also tend to be more flexible in their thinking and more empathetic towards others, as well as accepting alternate viewpoints among different people, and appreciating people of different race and culture.
4. Children can see their own culture from a different perspective, and even possess the ability to compare and contrast different cultures, taking the best from both worlds.
5. Bilingualism opens the opportunity to live and work in different countries, expanding one’s life experiences.
Immerse your family life in the language of Greek in a fun way for your kids. There are countless creative ways to do that. Below are some practical games to play:
1. Identify your children’s interests. For example, if your children really enjoy going to the beach, take them there and then spend the day using the Greek words for everything you encounter.
2. Choose a certain day of the week, and during that day, you and your spouse (if you both have knowledge of Greek, that is) only speak to them in Greek.
To help make your child’s journey of discovering Greek more fun and interactive, I have just launched an exciting workbook titled Trip to Greece.
The book contains an interesting narrative in English, with Greek keywords to practise and learn. Each page offers multiple fun opportunities for your child to hear, speak, read and write Greek (depending on their age and language ability).
Place your pre-order for Trip to Greece online at www.melinamallos.com – there is also a special offer together with Catch that Cat! for a package purchase of both books.