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New languages, you can't start early enough!

Sooner or later, everyone has to deal with foreign languages. For adults, it is just a lot more complicated to learn new languages than for children. The best time to develop your language skills is in the first phase of your life. So the responsibility for making the most of this lies in the hands of parents.

You cannot start offering children different languages early enough. Scientific research shows that even language provision before birth plays a role in your child's language development. Although the exact moment of beginning until the age of 4 does not matter much. Indeed, when a child is 4 years old, the mother tongues seem to be established. These support the learning of other languages, but can also get in the way of the learning process. This is well seen in children who have been exposed to foreign languages from the age of 4. These children make different and more mistakes than those who were introduced to foreign languages at a younger age.

So the earlier the better. Many parents are well aware that reading aloud is crucial for your child's language development. Indeed, reading aloud is a very effective way to increase your child's language skills at home, especially if this is done in several languages. Reading books together and having simple conversations in another language are easy but very useful methods when it comes to increasing your child's language skills.

For children, it is very good to be exposed to multiple languages from a young age. This is also well supported by the education system that offers English fairly early in primary schools. Parents can easily contribute to this learning process by combining school and home education. This can already be achieved by short conversations about the topics and themes your child is currently working on at school. In addition, you immediately increase knowledge about that topic or theme and the related concepts.

Large-scale research shows that children who use their mother language well, are more likely to go to college or university studies later in life. When they have also learned to read and write multilingually, it reduces the chances of dropping out early in higher studies.

www.junglethebungle.com Playful introduction to learn foreign languages!

Article by Jungle the Bungle based on the compiled knowledge dossier 'Dealing with multilingualism in education' by Meertalig.nl, Meertaligheid.be and the Taalunie.

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