Multilingual classrooms are basically the atmosphere where people speak a variety of first languages rather than speaking a single common language. Some of the examples where the multilingual atmosphere can exist is a place where learners have traveled from other countries or cities and states to learn a language or acquire any other skill for example a summer school, or a language class where the target language is the same. Due to globalization, these types of classrooms have become very popular and are in use just like other mono or bilingual schools. This has proved to be beneficial for the students. Some of its benefits are listed in this blog.
Food for the brain, literally!
The first benefit is that speaking more than 1 language is good for your brain. Yes, there are researches showing that bilingual or multilingual people have a more developed brain and better IQ than monolingual learners. Since it requires you to master another language, learning more than one language is definitely a boost for your brain. Additionally, speaking more than one language at an early age pushes your brain to work harder thus improving intelligence, memory, and critical thinking abilities. Children also have better knowledge and command of all the languages they learn since it needs practice to be fluent in a language and learning it at such a young age will give them sufficient time master the languages quickly and more efficiently.
Connecting different ethical backgrounds:
Another benefit is- it connects communities. People from different communities and backgrounds come together in a classroom where they not only share their language with each other but also their cultures. These classrooms act as a connection between people that have migrated or are new to the place. This also instills a sense of inclusion in them as well as the fact that language is not a boundary, in fact, it is the bridge that connects people and communities. It will teach children to live and study in harmony and respect everyone despite the differences in language, the place they live, etc.
Improves empathy and communication skills:
It makes children more empathetic, as mentioned in the earlier point, children learn to live in harmony with people that belong to different communities and cultures and speak different languages. They also learn to respect and accept them as they are. They are more empathetic and considerate about the differences between them and the people around them rather than mocking someone for them. In a classroom that welcomes a multilingual atmosphere, children understand the fact that in order to be equal to someone they don’t have to be the same as them and everybody is different and one should always respect them for whoever they are. This also develops a tolerance and acceptance among kids for cultures different from theirs and helps them appreciate different cultures.
Better Job Opportunities:
Better career opportunities are another very important benefit that multilingual classrooms offer. Children get to learn different languages from their friends and classmates without actually even attending an extra class for it. I mean isn’t it cool? That these children at a very young age are getting to learn so many new things about different languages apart from the regular curriculum without actually having been burdened for it. However, this should be a very natural process and should not be forced on a child because kids tend to learn more when they like it not when they are forced for it. With increasing globalization, being multilingual is a necessity and this can prove to be a life-changing skill for your child.
Close connection with mother tongue:
It brings a sense of confidence in your child that the main purpose of learning a language is to be able to communicate effectively. Learning in a multilingual atmosphere will not only help you to learn other languages but also validate your mother tongue. But if you grow up in a monolingual atmosphere, then you are instilled with a mindset that the target language is somewhat superior to their first language and it is necessary to master the language if they want to be able to communicate and convey their ideas. That way you are compelled to learn a language that you probably don’t even like or understand.
There are many more benefits of multilingual classrooms, and all of this depends from person to person and their likes and dislikes. But what is important is that children should not be forced into this, if your child is not comfortable in such atmospheres it is better to switch. However, over time these have proved to be very useful and encouraging.