Benefits of Language Immersion for Preschoolers
The U.S. Department of Education's Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) have both recently published research on the benefits of learning a second language and immersion as a superior method of teaching.
CARLA explains why immersion is the optimal method for teaching a second language:
"In traditional second language instruction, the target language is the subject of instruction. Immersion programs use the target language for instruction and as a means of communication. This authentic communication allows students to learn a second language in a similar manner to the way that they have learned their first."
The ACTFL highlights the benefits of learning a second language on their website:
Just some of the quotes from the ACTFL Study:
- Language learning is beneficial in the development of students’ reading abilities.
- There is evidence that early language learning improves cognitive abilities.
- There is evidence bilingualism correlates with increased cognitive development and abilities.
- There is a correlation between bilingualism and intelligence.
- There is a correlation between bilingualism and problem solving ability.
- There is a correlation between bilingualism and improved verbal and spatial abilities.
- There is a correlation between young children’s second language development and the development of print awareness.
In short, young children in immersion programs have the best advantage in developing the pronunciation, structure and intonation of the new language easily and successfully.
Children who learn a second language from an early age consistently show superior mathematical conceptualization, problem solving skills, verbal acumen, and creativity.
Empowered with a second language and appreciation for cultural diversity, our students are ready to embrace the multicultural world they will be running one day.
Below is a selection of articles on the benefits of bilingualism, especially for children.
For a Better Brain, Learn Another Language, The Atlantic, October 2014
Spanish-Language Immersion Schools Gain in Popularity, NBC News, October 2014
Could Bilingual Education Mold Kids’ Brains to Better Resist Distraction?, Mind/Shift, September 2014
Why Bilinguals Are Smarter, The New York Times, March 2012
The Bilingual Advantage, The New York Times, May 2011
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