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Benefits of Learning Languages in the Early Years

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There are many benefits of learning a second language before the age of 5. Here are some of the reasons learning a language in the early years will give your child a great advantage for development.  

As the Linguistics Coaches at Fennies, we strongly believe that the developmental benefits learning a language have on children at nursery is extremely valuable. Not only does it help improve communication and language skills, but it can also boost memory, build cultural connections and improve attention span. These are crucial for not only helping enhance their early learning, but these are skills that your child will use throughout the rest of their lives.  

Did you know that we learn the most in the first 5 years of our lives, which is why these early years are a great time to introduce your child to a second language?  

Here’s some of the main benefits of introducing your child to a second language:  

Get a head start

Learning a new language before the age of 5 is a really beneficial age as studies have shown that children can adopt pronunciations and recreate sounds, the brain is more flexible, and children can learn through play and immersion which is a great way to learn something new.  

child writing at nursery

Supports cognitive development

The brain is like a muscle and learning more words and recognising vocabulary makes the brain stronger. By learning more vocabulary in different languages, it increases the number of words your child knows for example if your child is saying a word in 3 languages it counts as 3 separate words. 

Improves focus

Learning a new language improves listening, problemsolving and critical thinking skills. When a child has the ability to switch between languages, this stimulates the neurons and increases their ability to focus. 

Boosts creativity

Speaking another language allows your child to be creative. Studies have shown that by developing this creativity, children also become more likely to be better problem solvers.

toddler painting outdoors

Learn about new cultures

Children who are exposed to other languages at an early age will display more positive attitudes towards cultures associated with those languages. When a child is learning a new language, they are also learning a new culture and different ways to communicate, developing social flexibility and better social interactions. 

Promotes self confidence

 When a language is introduced positively, this increases the child’s self-esteem and PSED (physical, social, emotional development) skills. 

Learning a Language at Fennies

At Fennies, we recognise the benefits of learning a second language for under 5s and we deliver weekly French and Spanish lessons. Our sessions incorporate fun activities, songs, and movement to help children learn in a fun and engaging way.  

Of course, the above benefits relate to your child’s educational success but here are how some of the benefits directly link to the EYFS (early years foundation stage). 

Lisa Moret French lessons at Fennies nursery

Listening and attention: Enjoys rhymes, joins in with repeated refrains in rhymes and maintains attention

Many of our language lessons incorporate rhyme to help children learn new vocabulary. Our Linguistics Coaches enjoy reading rhyming stories and introducing fun songs that help children remember these new words.  

Why not sing along with your little one at home to this song?

Understanding: understands simple sentences, single words in context, identifies action words by pointing, responds to simple instructions

When children learn new vocabulary through learning a second language, they begin to show their understanding through a variety of actions such as responding to questions and following simple instructions.  

Give this game of Simon Says a go to help develop your child’s understanding of Spanish! 

Speaking: Uses gestures with limited speech, uses different words, begins to ask simple questions

We make sure we continuously ask children simple questions in our language sessions and are expressive through gestures and actions to help develop children’s vocabulary. 

Self-confidence and self-awareness: Confidence in speaking a new language

Not only does learning a new language have a large variety of vocabulary and speaking skills, but it also helps develop children’s self-confidence. When children learn these new skills successfully their confidence is boosted which does wonders for their learning!  

Fennies Spanish Coach lessons

Mathematics

Learning a language can also support a child’s mathematical skills as they may enjoy counting verbally as far as they can go in the language they’re learning. We incorporate counting with songs and on their fingers and using number cards and dice games within their sessions.   

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