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Why Spanish Immersion?

The fact that you are interested in our school, and are considering a Spanish Immersion Montessori program for your child, is evidence of your existing understanding and awareness that bilingualism is a positive thing. It’s a proven fact that multilingual children have tremendous advantages over monolingual individuals with regard to education and learning. Although it’s likely that you don’t need much convincing that bilingualism is beneficial, it doesn’t hurt to review what research tells us are the rewards of learning a second language.

“Never mind how well-spoken you might be now, you will never again be as adept with languages as the day you were born. Indeed, the youngest person in any room is almost always the best linguist there too. There are 6,800 languages in the world, and since you can’t know where you’ll be born, you have to pop from the womb able to speak any one of them. That talent fades fast — as early as nine months after birth, some of our language synapses start getting pruned away. But well into your grammar-school years, your ability to learn a second — or third or fourth — language is still remarkable.”
Time: How the Brain Benefits from being Bilingual

 

Young children are the most capable: children, before puberty, have the greatest capacity to learn a second language.

Improved Executive Control: the mental exercise of switching between two languages provides bilingual individuals with advanced abilities for planning, focusing, multi-tasking and problem solving.

Foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind: students who are learning a foreign language at an early age, out-score their non-foreign language learning peers in the verbal and the math sections of standardized tests.

Children still possess the ability to develop near native pronunciation and intonation: Start foreign language instruction at a young age in order to allow them a real opportunity to become proficient in the language.

Multilingual Brain: bilingual children’s brains are quicker and nimbler, have superior self-regulation, increased intellectual growth, make less equivocal decisions, have enhanced mental development, flexible thinking, are keen with conflict resolution and are more likely to resist dementia

Learning a second language enhances children’s cognitive development: this gives students substantial intellectual advantages over those that do not. In addition to countless other cognitive developments, research confirms that bilingual children learn the concept of object permanence sooner than monolingual children. For example, an object remains the same, even though it may have another name in a different language. So a book remains a book, and performs the function of a book, whether it is labeled a book in English or un libro in Spanish.

Communication Skills: a second language gives a child the ability to communicate with people that they would otherwise not have the chance to know. It opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries

Future Success: learning a second language gives a student a head start in language requirements for high school and in college, therefore increasing job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.

 

Additional Resources

NPR Podcast: If you are interested in how language develops in young children, view the following podcast on language development:
Unfolding Language

News Articles: Benefits of Bilingual Education
How the Brain Benefits from Being Bilingual
Surprising Advantages of Bilingual Education
Education Nation the Real Benefits of Being Bilingual