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Saturday, January 31, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 23.0° F  Overcast
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Foreign language classes start Oct. 17
Young people who learn other languages score better on tests
You, too, can learn Chinese!
You, too, can learn Chinese!

There are so many opportunities for children these days-sports, scouting, music lessons. How do you decide what's best for your child?

Learning a foreign language when they are young can offer big returns for a child. According to research, learning a foreign language enhances cognitive development and basic skills performance in elementary age children. Because a new language is not familiar children must acquire new learning strategies. Being able to develop a new set of skills to meet new challenges is an important tool for success in our fast-changing world.

Research has also found that students who averaged four or more years of foreign language study scored higher on the verbal section of the SATs. They also found that the average mathematics score for individuals who had taken four or more years of foreign language study was identical to the score of those who had studied the same number of years of mathematics.

Beyond the actual learning of the language and developing cognitive skills, introducing children to different cultures through language study helps them broaden their outlook and develop an understanding of others, another critical skill for our inter-connected society.

Wisconsin Youth Company offers language classes through its World Language enrichment program. Classes meet after school at 10 Dane County schools. Children build vocabulary through games, art projects and cooking activities.

Languages offered include French, Spanish and Chinese. Beginning classes are available for children new to foreign language. Continuing classes are available for those with more experience.

Classes start the week of October 17. For information about locations, days, times and costs visit the Wisconsin Youth Company website.

This story is written and presented by Wisconsin Youth Company, which provides quality before- and after-school care, summer day-camp and travel camp experiences and family travel adventures. WYC exists so that the children of Wisconsin benefit from communities that nurture them at a sustainable cost.

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