New studies are showing that a multilingual brain is nimbler, quicker, better able to deal with ambiguities, resolve conflicts and better resists Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Children have a natural aptitude for picking up new words and sounds because of the vast spectrum of words they are exposed to.
They can easily break down a word into its component sounds and, therefore, categorising words comes naturally to them. It is easier for bilingual children to detect rhyming words. Their responses can also be equally fast in both the languages.
Research has shown that bilingualism is beneficial for children’s development and their future. Children exposed to different languages become more aware of different cultures, other people and other points of view. But they also fare better than monolinguals at ‘multitasking’ and focusing attention. They often are more avid readers, and generally find it easier to learn other languages.
Why Welsh Language?
This is quite a straight-forward answer. We believe that each language is a gift. Growing up bi-lingual (or even multi-lingual) opens more doors: educationally, professionally, and culturally and allows us access to rich worlds of history and literature. We hope our ethos appeals to all families interested in a Welsh-medium education for their child; whether you speak Welsh or not.
How to introduce welsh?
- Make sure your child continues to hear plenty of his or her first language, whether that’s English or any other language. All young children need opportunities to develop language through everyday playing and chatting.
- Take the opportunity to learn a little bit of Welsh yourself and practice with your child every day. By reading simple stories, singing nursery rhymes and using Welsh vocabulary at certain times of the day – at breakfast or at bedtime for example – your child will get used to hearing Welsh and you will get more comfortable speaking it.
- Sing Welsh rhymes.
- Watch Welsh programmes on S4C such as Cyw.
- Read bilingual books.
How difficult is it to help your child through their education if you don’t speak Welsh?
It’s not, just be supportive and show an interest. You are likely to pick up some words along the way, and don’t forget lots of other parents are likely to be in the same position.
Just by using any little words and phrases you know such as numbers and colours and just saying bore da and nos da will help them and in no time at all they will be completely fluent in both languages!