Of course, if a child is raised in an English-speaking country, they are regarded as a native speaker and would develop their English language skills naturally, yet when children in Thailand, for example, grow up, the English language doesn’t have a place in their lives. If a child does not have the basics of a second language by the time they reach their teenage years, it is an uphill struggle to develop any kind of fluency and let’s face it, English is THE international language and certainly one that is critical to a child’s future.
English as the Language of Instruction
When it comes to learning English, the earlier the better and whether a kindergarten or a further education senior school in Bangkok, there are schools where English is the language of instruction. In the event a 3–4-year-old is enrolled into an English-speaking school, the rate of language acquisition is fast and the child would speak fluently in their last few years of high school. With more than 6 hours a day using English, your child will soon grasp the basics and that will be the foundation for a solid all-round education.
Thai students that go on to study an international university certainly have a big advantage over those who have Thai degrees and that could be the difference between landing that plum job and being an also ran. English fluency opens doors and the best career positions usually go to those with an international education, which means it is very important.
Practice, Practice and More Practice
The key to successful English language acquisition is lots of free practice; if you and your partner speak English, then make sure you use it with your child on a daily basis, which might feel a bit strange at first and after a while it will become second nature. Young children have an amazing ability to soak up knowledge, especially languages; a child with a German father and a Thai mother living in Thailand, for example, can learn 3 languages simultaneously – Thai, English and German. Click here for further reading on the importance of English as a second language.
Opening Career Doors
After 12 years of formal international education, the student can enter a further education course that incorporates 1 year of study at a UK university, which sits very well on their resume. The top companies typically choose the top academic students for the best positions and with fluency in English, there are no restrictions when it comes to career choices.
International education equates to international work and any student with English fluency can effectively study at any of the top universities in the world. Typically, a foreign university would require a high score with IELTS or another similar standard, which is very hard to achieve without at least an upper-intermediate level of English.
If you are prepared to invest in an international education for your child, this will prepare them for a successful career and a very happy life.