The benefits of trilingualism
Learning multiple languages has well-documented benefits. For one, knowing multiple languages improves brain cognitive function and health, since learning a new language essentially ‘exercises’ the brain. It’s also been linked to greater success in school, and simply fosters a global, cultural awareness.
It’s also common knowledge that children tend to pick up languages faster than adults. Children are better at ‘implicit learning’ — absorbing language or information, instead of learning it in a traditional classroom setting. If they’re surrounded by multilingualism, it also helps with language acquisition: in order to socially survive in the setting, kids will likely use multiple languages so they can make friends and ‘fit in’.
So, being in an environment where three different languages are regularly spoken sets children up for success in life a lot better than if not. By immersing children in three languages — Catalan, Spanish and English — they will become well-rounded, culturally aware adults. Those who speak multiple languages also tend to have better job opportunities around the world, as it’s becoming a skill more and more employers look for.
At Colegio Akua, students are exposed to all three languages starting at 3-years-old, an important time in their cognitive and social development. Because of their ability to absorb information, they can easily pick up all three languages without much formal instruction.
Language learning is about so much more than knowing the meaning of foreign words — it’s also an opportunity to learn about the people who speak the language and their culture. It’s a chance to understand someone different and see the world through a new pair of eyes. It opens the doors to potential friendships, or relationships, that can be cherished for years on.