If you are considering what preschool to send your child to and you are fortunate enough to have a spanish immersion preschool on your list of choices – then read on. As a good parent, we are sure that you want to be as informed as possible on how a language immersion program can help your toddler.
Is Spanish Immersion Right For My Child? –In short – YES. Language immersion for young children has been shown to improve cognitive, social and emotional skills. Improving your child’s capacities in these 3 areas can contribute to their success in their careers and life paths.
In an article published by Michigan State University Extension – “Between the ages of 0-3, the brains of young children are uniquely suited to learn a second language as the brain is in its most flexible stage.”
Multiple research studies have shown (and continue to show) that the benefits of learning a second language (for children) improves cognitive, social and emotional functioning. These factors will continue to benefit these children throughout their lifetime contributing to successful careers and life paths.
Why Is Language Immersion Important?
Learning a second language (especially for very young children) has shown to improve cognitive development which in turn improves academic performance. When learning is easier – other aspects of life are easier as well.
The two main aspects of development that learning a second language improves are…
- Executive Function skills
- Social and Emotional skills
“Saying ‘Goodbye’ to mom and then ‘Guten tag’ to your teacher, or managing to ask for a crayola roja instead of a red crayon, requires skills called “inhibition” and “task switching.”
These skills are subsets of an ability called executive function.
People who speak two languages often outperform monolinguals on general measures of executive function.” – NPR.org
In addition, knowing a second language (like spanish or chinese) is a great skill in today’s workforce. There’s certainly no reason to believe that this trend will decline, if anything, it seems that future jobs may require bilingual skills.
What Is Executive Function?
Known as the “CEO of the brain” – executive function controls planning skills, goal setting and the ability to accomplish tasks and goals.
Children who have problems with executive function normally have ADHD. They have problems organizing their tasks, planning out their days and executing the details needed to complete activities.
Executive function is responsible for:
- Organizing and planning
- Comprehending alternate points of view
- Regulating emotions
- Beginning and completing tasks
Children who are exposed to and learn a second language have fewer problems with these skills.
You can read more about Executive Function here.
Social and Emotional Skills
Knowing a second language opens up an entire new culture to socialize with. The scope of friends and acquaintances doubles or more in size.
Children who are bilingual demonstrate stronger problem solving skills, improved memory capacity and abstract thinking.
“Young children being raised bilingual have to follow social cues to figure out which language to use with which person and in what setting. As a result, says Sorace, bilingual children as young as age 3 have demonstrated a head start on tests of perspective-taking and theory of mind — both of which are fundamental social and emotional skills.” – NPR.org
As I stated earlier, skills such as these will contribute to successful careers and life paths for these bilingual children.
Spanish Immersion For Toddlers
At KSS Preschool (Kids Speaking Spanish Preschool) here in California, our instructors rely on a combination of play-based and academically-focused methods to teach the basics of Math, Science, and Language Arts. In addition, our curriculum is designed to spark and maintain children’s interest in Spanish through creative activities such as dancing, singing, cooking, art projects, and games.
We believe in language immersion for preschoolers and the great many benefits that it provides.
If you have questions about our preschools, call us at 1-877-44CALLKSS (1-877-442-2555). We’re happy to answer all your questions and we can also schedule a tour of any of our three locations in Albany, Oakland and Walnut Creek.