If you want to help your child gain empathy, introducing a second language is easy, effective and fun.
A recent study in Psychological Science has shown that children who are exposed to a second language have greater understanding and perspective than those who are not.
Interestingly, children do not necessarily need to speak another language in order to benefit from it. Mere exposure to another language is sufficient to understand a different perspective better. However, children who are bilingual or who are learning a second language have a natural advantage because they not only gain the social benefits of language exposure, but also the many cognitive advantages of speaking more than one language.
Research consistently proves that speakers of a second language have a distinct intellectual advantage over monolinguals: they are better able to focus, retain information, manage complex tasks, solve problems and make decisions. As a result, students who study foreign languages will score better on standardised tests in other subjects, particularly mathematics and reading.
The stimulating mental activity that language learning provides is also effective in delaying the onset of symptoms of dementia – so if we give our younger learners the gift of a language at an early age, the benefits will be both immediate and long-term.
Cactus runs after-school language courses for juniors aged 7-15 years in London and in Brighton. Courses start in September and run for 10 weeks excluding half term. Children can learn French, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese, and the emphasis is on learning through games, songs and other fun age-appropriate activities to make language learning educational and enjoyable.