What Is The Best Foreign Language For Your Child?

Multicultural childrens hands on a globe
Maximus Escouri
best foreign language

What is the best foreign language for your child? In this article, we examine the languages that experts say are the easiest for English native speakers to learn. We also look at what foreign languages are trending in Australian elite schools today.

Research shows that learning a foreign language has long-term benefits.  In an increasingly borderless world, a foreign language is a brilliant way to career-proof your child. Apart from gaining a competitive advantage in career choices, learning a foreign language also enhances cognitive (memory and focus) and communication skills.

The Easiest Foreign Languages For Your Child To Learn

A recent article by CNN ranked the easiest foreign languages for English native-speakers as follows:

600-hour or more foreign languages

Popular Latin languages like French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, together with Dutch and Norwegian require approximately 600 hours to achieve general professional proficiency. The reason is these languages share many similar words with English.  

While Italian and Spanish were ranked as the top two easiest languages to learn, sending your kid to French classes is a good idea too. French is the second most popular language in business after English. It is also a working language in international organisations like WHO, UN, IOC, and others. learn more about our kids French classes.

Under 1,000 hours’ foreign languages

German, Malay, Hungarian, and Swahili. German for example requires a little more time to master because of its heavily conjugated verbs, gendered and non-gendered nouns, and a strict language structure.   

Between 1,000 hours – 2,000 hours foreign languages

If you want your child to try a language with a different alphabet, try Hungarian, Greek, or Russian. Russian is a good foreign language to acquire because if they understand Russian they will also be able to understand other Slav languages like Polish, Czech, or Bulgarian.   Russian is also widely used in all the countries that were formerly the Soviet Union.  

2.000 hours or more foreign languages

Foreign language

Arabic, Japanese, and Mandarin may take a little longer for your child to master but consider the advantages of learning a foreign language that is widely used by a large proportion of the world’s population.  

If you want to give your child an advantage in his/her future career prospects, learning a popular language like Mandarin can help.  Mandarin is the most widely used language in Australia after English.  China is also Australia’s largest trading partner. Learn more about our Kids Mandarin classes.

Australia has a unique bilateral trade agreement with Japan. Arabic is the main language in the Middle East and Africa. Both Japanese and Arabic are good investments for your child’s future, as well. Learn more about our Kids Japanese classes.

Mandarin is trending in Australia

No surprises here. The most popular foreign language taught in Australian primary schools today is Mandarin. For a start, Australia is a multicultural country and we have a large population of Chinese residents. China is a global economy with a commanding presence in business. Australian parents (and students) are recognising the importance of studying Mandarin. 

According to a report by SMH, the increased enrolments in Mandarin classes are not impacting other popular languages like French, Italian, Japanese, and Indonesian. Students are choosing to study a foreign language because they understand the value-add that a second language can give them.

Multicultural childrens hands on a globe

Top Kidz Academy in Sydney is one of the few private establishments that run Mandarin, French and Japanese classes for children as young as two. Two-years of age seem like a very young age to study a foreign language. Not according to Maximus Escouri, the academy’s co-founder and French speaker. Children’s brains are like sponges. A two-year-old can’t learn grammar from a book. But their brains can recognise word patterns and they are adept at memory and repetition. We use plenty of visuals, aural and contextual learning to immerse the kids in French.

The best part of encouraging your child to learn a second language is after they’ve learned this language, a third or fourth language will be a lot easier.


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