The Law Office of James R. Snell Jr. February 2018

How Young Minds Absorb a 2nd Language

And the Benefits of Learning Early

If you speak a second language, you have the unique ability to set your child up for a lifetime of

thing or change their responses, a skill called cognitive flexibility. The more you can expose your little one to different sounds in their first year, the more they’ll pick up those sounds as their brain creates new neural circuits. If you speak a second language and have a child at home, now is a great time to share it with them. Your child is especially ready to pick up new sounds and words, with the added benefit of learning their heritage. If you’re ready to teach your child a second language, here are a few ways to incorporate new words. 1. Take time to talk with your child in a second language during playtime. Research shows babies need personal interaction to learn, so switching on the TV in another language won’t suffice. 2. Increase vocabulary by giving options in a second language. Try questions like “Do you want juice or milk?” or “Do you want to play on the swings or by the tree?”

advantages. Not only does a second language benefit your child in adulthood, but learning another language also strengthens

multiple parts of their developing brain, according to Michigan State University. You may not want to overload your kids with two lexicons, but this is really not the case. Children quickly adapt to dual languages. The brain is a like a muscle, and like any other muscle in our body, the more it’s exercised, the stronger it becomes. With all the research floating around about how beneficial it is to teach your child a second language, you might wonder why youngsters pick up languages so easily. According to NBC News, the answer lies in their flexible minds. Children’s brains develop in response to external stimulants. Did you know that babies are born with the ability to distinguish the sounds of all languages? As they get older, even before their first birthday, they lose that ability. Kids are able to take in sounds, intonation, and language structure more easily than adults who have to painstakingly memorize verb structures and grammar. Children under 8 are especially primed to pick up a new language thanks to flexible ear and speech muscles. As they take in new words, it increases their ability to focus on one

3. Find a language exchange group or bilingual daycare to increase your child’s exposure to a second language.

If you don’t know a second language but want to give your child a head start, you can begin by learning new words together. How fun would it be if you become bilingual as a family?

When you think about a law office, European paintings probably aren’t the first things that come to your mind. But in addition to his relentless passion for helping our clients, Jim Snell is also something of a museum nerd. As we’ve undertaken the process of decorating our new office, Jim wanted the place to reflect our personalities. To that end, he’s put in the effort to order high-quality reproductions of his favorite paintings. Over the years, Jim and his wife have been lucky enough to visit some of the world’s most famous museums. On a trip to Paris, they spent a lot of time at the Louvre and the Musee D’Orsay. Jim thought it only fitting that we name two of our meeting rooms after these iconic destinations for art lovers. Once that was decided, he had the much harder task of deciding which paintings would fit best. Of course, we don’t have the wall space for even a tiny percentage of the masterpieces on display in these museums, so Jim had

to make some tough decisions. Even with thousands of works to choose from, Jim knew that one artist would be featured prominently: Caravaggio. Jim was a fan from the moment he saw his work, and he jumps at any chance to see them in person. Another easy choice was the majestic polar bear statue by Francois Pompon from the Musee D’Orsay. We’re still in the process of selecting all the works for these rooms. It’s become a bit of a running joke that whenever Jim has a few minutes to spare, you can find him scrolling through reproductions online. If he ever gets tired of the law, he might have a future as a museum curator. We would never pretend that our reproductions, high-quality as they are, can replicate the experience of seeing these stunning works in the flesh. However, we are willing to bet that they’re as close as you can come to visiting Paris without ever having to leave Lexington.

From Paris to South Carolina The InspirationforOur NewMeetingRooms

The Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr. LLC | P: 803-753-1476


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