Parents invest in sending their children to Mandarin classes because many believe it is an important business language that will benefit their children’s future career opportunities. Economist Albert Saiz finds that native English-speaking graduates who speak a second language, on average, earn 2 percent more than those who don’t. Different foreign languages attract different language bonuses: the more in demand a foreign language is, the higher the language bonus.
Knowing the language of our main business partners is an advantage. Graduates with foreign language skills will greatly enhance their career opportunities at home and abroad. They would also enhance your academic opportunities by having the opportunity to study at educational institutions abroad, an excellent experience to broaden your horizon and enrich your resume. Graduates with international experience are valued by employers. Not only people working in international trade or diplomatic services would benefit from foreign language skills. Jim Rogers, a successful businessman, urges people to learn at least one Asian language because it will give them a competitive advantage. He himself sent his children to learn Mandarin at a young age to prepare them for the future.
The benefits of learning Mandarin for children are not only found in future opportunities. Studies support that children who are bilingual or multilingual are ahead of their peers academically. Learning a second language helps improve children’s academic performance, especially in English and math. According to research, languages like Chinese express mathematical concepts more clearly and thus make it easier for young children to learn mathematics. It is also reported that children learning Mandarin perform better in musical pitch identification and thus may perform better than their peers in developing musical skills. This is not a surprise since Chinese is a tonal language. Learning the language will naturally train children to be able to identify the different tones. In essence, all the skills that children acquire through the process of learning a foreign language can be transferred significantly to other areas of life.
Children who learn a foreign language also show better problem-solving skills, creativity, and multitasking abilities. This is not a surprise as children are required to think in a different way while learning to speak a foreign language. This mental training provides multiple cognitive advantages to young learners, in addition to having advanced linguistic and cross-cultural skills.
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