Why kids learning a language is like feeding spinach to Popeye!

By Tina Mira | LinguaKidz

Popeye loves his spinach. So much so he sang about it, every chance he had. I’m sure you know the tune … “I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me spinach, I’m Popeye the sailor man!”

For kids, learning a new language is like busting open a can of spinach for Popeye.

This is because when children are exposed to a new language, their cognitive workout ramps up and the results are amazing! Language learning is often linked to better academic results due to improved:

  • concentration
  • problem solving
  • understanding of language structures
  • multitasking

Dan Roitman of Pimsleur in the Huffington Post, goes even further and points out that language learners tend to be more conscious thinkers and listeners who can communicate clearly and think creatively and have a broader, more global perspective.

What the studies say about learning languages and children

Multiple studies suggest that language learning improves the brain’s executive function.

This in return helps children to better ignore distractions and stay focused and retain information. Learning another language is considered by many researchers and academics as one of the most effective and practical ways to increase intelligence, keep your mind sharp, and buffer your brain against aging!

How learning a new language reshapes the brain

From the moment we hear sounds, our brain is triggered to process these sounds into meaning and formulate a response. In doing so, it starts a chain reaction in four main areas of our brain devoted to language comprehension and production.

First the sound enters the Primary Auditory Cortex, and travels through to the Wernicke’s area for processing and then off to the Broca’s area and Motor Cortex to formulate and deliver language production!

This fires off all 4 cylinders of the brain and improves the brain’s overall function just like a good workout at the gym improves our fitness.

How you can encourage and support your child to learn a new language

Kids learn best through repetition and fun. To help your child learn or improve their language skills, here are some tips:

  1. Find opportunities to interact with other language speakers in the community – try ordering a meal at a restaurant in the target language.
  2. Watch TV or movies in the target language
  3. Sing! Listen to music and sing along – a great way to engage with the language in a fun way!
  4. Enrol your child in extracurricular language programs and holiday camps
  5. Use one of the many apps to do a little bit every day.
  6. Learn the language together – a great way to bond together too and have someone else to practise with.

How LinguaKidz helps to make learning a new language a fun and engaging for children

LinguaKidz school holiday camps optimize language learning through fun and engaging activities including dance, music, cooking and arts and crafts! Also, our online classes provide a great opportunity for regular language learning and are delivered in small groups using an immersive and interactive approach to help to make language learning enjoyable and effective. Finally, our school events offer the opportunity for kids to get out of the traditional classroom setting and put their language skills to use in fun and different ways eg. Language Safari Excursions to Wildlife parks!

At LinguaKidz, we recognize the many wonderful benefits that our Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese language programs and camps provide, immersing children in rich language environments that get the brain ‘working out’ all while having fun and expanding their perspectives of language and culture!

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Our unique, fun-based programs aim to foster an appreciation for world languages and cultures.