More than half the world’s population is bilingual, which is why we believe that early childhood bilingual education is so important. At a time when the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, learning another language is a step towards joining a global community. A second language is a window into other ways of viewing the world. More than that, bilingualism carries concrete advantages for children who grow up speaking a second language. Bilingualism aligns perfectly with our program’s philosophy of intercultural community building.
“The world is richer than it is possible to express in any single language”
– Ilya Prigogone, Nobel Laureate
o Bilingualism increases mental flexibility for children. Bilinguals will have two or three more words for a single object or idea.
o Bilingual children are more willing and able to learn a third language, and show an increased analytical orientation to language.
o Children who study a second language score higher on verbal standardized tests conducted in English. By providing bilingual child care for Minneapolis children and other kids around the country also helps them perform better in math and logic skills than children with just one language.
o This helps children prepare for Kindergarten, whether they will attend a language immersion program or an English-only elementary school.
o Learning a second language helps children build self-esteem, creativity, problem-solving skills, and math ability
Social, Emotional, and Interpersonal Abilities
o Early childhood bilingual education encourages children to maintain a strong sense of their own identities while developing sensitivity towards other people and cultures.
o Since bilinguals need to be aware of which language to speak in which situation, a bilingual child may be more aware of the needs of the listener.
o Being taught in two languages gives children a head start in competition for universities and professional jobs.
BenefitS of Early ImmerSion
In order to reap the full benefit of bilingualism, exposure to the second language should begin as early as possible. The chances of achieving full fluency in another language are much higher if study is begun in the first five years of life, since the human brain is wired to learn language during this critical period, which is why we provide this intensive bilingual day care to young children across the nation. Immersion duplicates the conditions under which we all learn our first language – extended contact with a community of fluent speakers – and is by far the most effective method of language teaching.
“Love of languages is nothing but one of the forms of love for mankind: to address someone in his own language is like visiting him in his own home as opposed to chatting with him in the street.”
– Lanza del Vasto
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