I love teaching children, and I love Spanish. Naturally then, putting the two together for an entire week makes me want to explode with anticipation. Let me share that anticipation for Spanish Summer Camp with you by having a countdown: Top Ten Reasons to Attend Spanish Camp for Kids!
Language Learning is Fun and Good For You
Kids live for fun. I know this first-hand from learning to raise a two-year-old; if I am having trouble getting my son to cooperate all I have to do is find a way to make the task at hand fun and he immediately responds in a positive way. That is why kids make great learners--they seek adventure and discovery, which is exactly what learning is: an adventure of discovering new things. They come by learning naturally: "Children understand intuitively that language is something to explore, to play around with, and to enjoy. Their enthusiasm is both infectious and effective. The quickness with which they pick up their first language is mearly miraculous--and such a joy to watch as a parent" (Top Ten Benefits of Early Language Learning, Early-Advantage.com). I see this playfulness with language in both of my children. My two-year-old loves to make silly rhymes and thinks it is so funny; my ten-month-old enjoys so much playing the game where he makes a sound and I repeat him or vice versa.
Kids also like learning because it gives them self-confidence and makes them feel good about themselves. Anytime a child can try something new and feel successful at it, it boosts their overall confidence and self-esteem, positively affecting all aspects of their life. According to the article mentioned above, "For children, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with their first steps toward a second language can spur them on to a deeper and broader passion or learning in general. And because children are at a special 'window of opportunity' in which language learning is intuitive and natural, the ease and pleasure of the experience may boost their confidence and their desire for new discoveries." Encouraging your children to learn a second language then, encourages them to learn in all areas of life, helping them to be healthier, happier, and well-rounded little citizens.
Not only is language learning healthy for children's self-esteem, but it is also keeps their brains healthy. Our brains need to be challenged and used in order to grow: "Research into the effects of bilingualism on children suggests that exposure to more than one language is an excellent way of flexing those brain muscles . . . Bilingual children in one study reported in Nature showed a significantly larger density of 'grey matter' in their brains. And those who had been exposed to a second language from an early age proved to have the most grey matter of all" (Top Ten Benefits, Early-Advantage.com). Learning a foreign language broadens the learning capacity of our brains, excercising a larger part of it, expanding our language and language learning horizons.
To read more about benefits of children learning a foreign language, click here to read Top Ten Benefits of Early Language Learning in its entirety.