Common misconceptions about multicultural education for children
|January 23, 2013||Posted by Toddling Mad under Parenting|
Providing your child with a multicultural education is one of the most valuable life skills you can equip them with. Not only do kids raised in a multicultural environment have a greater respect for other cultures, they’re also empowered to succeed in today’s diverse society.
Yet this style of learning isn’t without its common misconceptions. Here’s a look at some of the popular myths and why they simply aren’t correct.
Myth # 1: Learning another language impairs your English skills
One of the common markers of a multicultural education is the opportunity to learn another language. One of the big myths surrounding learning another language is that it inhibits a child’s ability to master English.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies show that rather than inhibiting a child’s performance in the classroom, learning another language brings with it a range of improved cognitive skills.
It’s true that in a bilingual child’s brain both language systems are active, and in some circumstances this causes interference between the two. However, recent studies have shown that this conflict forces the brain to strengthen its cognitive muscles.
This means skills like improved problem solving and a greater ability to ignore distractions. If these sound like the sort of skills you want your child to experience, why not check out the excellent range of courses available across the country, such as the English courses in Manchester, London and other major cities?
Myth # 2: It’s detrimental to learn another language at a young age
One of the biggest criticisms levelled at the multicultural education system is that it’s wrong to learn other languages from such a young age. Yet science tells us that it’s a lot easier to pick up language skills as a child.
However, in reality there is no right or wrong time to learn a new language. A multicultural education from a young age equips children with language skills and cultural awareness that will continue to open doors for them throughout life as an adult.
Yet intensive language courses for teenagers or adults can also consolidate language skills later in life. There is a great range of ESL – language travel programmes that immerse students in the local culture, providing a far more effective environment than learning straight from a textbook.
Myth # 3: Multicultural learning is irrelevant
For families living amongst a country’s dominant culture, such as Caucasians in the UK, a myth exists that multicultural learning is irrelevant. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Nearly all countries today accept high levels of immigration, and this style of education equips children with the ability to thrive within the multicultural melting pot they call home.
Furthermore, in today’s diverse world, learning about other nationalities and languages opens up countless doors in both business and travel.
Myth # 4: Learning in a multicultural environment limits a child’s own sense of identity
Patriotic people often claim that multiculturalism is limiting the focus on our own national identity and history. Yet learning about other cultures doesn’t need to impact on a child’s understanding of their own heritage.
By experiencing other ways of living, children are given a better understanding of how their own history fits in with world events. Likewise, watching other social practices and customs allows a child to appreciate their own way of doing things, bringing greater awareness to their actions and lifestyle.
To find out more about the benefits of a multicultural education and learning another language, why not stay in touch via the ESL Language Travel Twitter account?
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