It has long been known, and well publicized, that learning a second language can stimulate the minds of older adults. Language learning can help keep you mentally sharp, improve cognitive skills and even reduce the chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Now, there’s little doubt language learning for children can yield life-long benefits.
Educators once believed that learning a second language hindered educational development. Now, that view has changed; research clearly shows bilingualism helps children:
Speaking two languages requires that children perform the mental exercise of switching from one to another, making them more intellectually flexible.
There is some debate when a child should start learning a second language; some researchers say by age five. Others believe it’s more difficult after 10. The consensus, however, is generally between ages six through nine.