Why encourage your child to learn French? So they can order pommes de terre at La Bouche Cafe with a perfect accent? Well, yes. But that’s not the only reason. There are more benefits to learning French than showcasing your language skills in a fancy restaurant. French is a versatile language with wide-ranging benefits. Below are some of the top reasons your child should study French.
Foreign language study at an early age leads to improved academic performance in all subjects, improves a student’s ability to focus, and provides priceless opportunities to study foreign cultures. But you might ask yourself, “Why French?” Or rather, “Pourquoi le Francais?”
More Than 270 Million People Speak French on Five Continents
French is one of the world’s fastest growing languages with many French-speaking countries experiencing rapid population growth. In addition, it is projected that by 2025, French will overtake German as the most spoken language in Europe.
The International Organization of French Speaking Countries consists of 84 member nations. French is the 6th most spoken language in the world and the second most learned foreign language in the world. Learning French for the sole purpose of traveling to France and partaking in the country’s culture justifies the hours of study it takes to learn a foreign language. Speaking French also opens up the cultural door to over two dozen African nations as well, including Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Speaking French Provides an Advantage in the Job Market
Many employers look for individuals who speak both English and Spanish. There are, after all, a huge number of individuals in the US whose first language is Spanish. So why not learn Spanish instead of French? It comes down to supply and demand. France is the world’s fifth biggest economy. That means American corporations want to do business with France and in France–not to mention the aforementioned nations where French is the official language.
If speaking French is an uncommon skill, that means the person who speaks French becomes more valuable. In other words, because French speakers are rare in the US, the demand for French speakers outpaces the supply of French speakers. Speaking French also provides unique opportunities in Canada, Switzerland, and many nations in Africa.
French is the Language of Culture and Travel
Throughout history, the French have excelled at cooking, fashion, theater, the visual arts, dance and architecture. A knowledge of French gives the learner cultural insight that proves valuable while traveling. More than 79 million people visit France yearly. There’s a reason for that. Speaking French also makes traveling in Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places much more pleasant. French is an official language of United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, and the International Red Cross.
Learning French Makes Learning Other Languages Easier to Learn
French is one of the ‘big’ Romance languages and lends itself brilliantly to learning other languages, including English. Those who study French in school have a distinct advantage when attempting to learn Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Plus, it is easy to learn French when your first language is English, since so many English words come from French.
Tessa International School’s mission is to prepare children to be bilingual, happy world citizens and productive leaders of the 21st century. At Tessa, children are introduced to other languages and cultures from preschool – the age when children are most likely to absorb another language with ease. This ability decreases with time, so contact us now to have your child become bilingual!