How Preschoolers Build Executive Functions With Language Immersion (Part 2)

Preschool Executive Function Development | San Francisco Bay Area Preschool

In part one of “How Preschoolers Build Executive Functions With Language Immersion,” we showcased how language immersion programs boost the following executive function skills for preschoolers:

  • Inhibition,
  • Non-verbal working memory, and
  • Problem-solving.

In this post, we explain how immersion programs encourage four more executive functions.

Language Immersion and Self-Awareness

Learning a second language in an immersive environment enhances a preschooler’s self-awareness because they become more aware of their environment and place in the world. Research shows that language assessment in second language education, in particular, improves self-awareness. This is because students garner a clearer perception of their strengths, weaknesses, goals, and motivations.

Self-awareness is an important executive function that brings life-long benefits for preschoolers. The ability to focus on one’s self and realize one’s emotions improves reflection and introspection in the future.

Recommended reading: How Language Learning Leads to Better Friendships

Language Immersion and Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is one’s ability to adapt emotions and behavior to a particular environment. Language immersion hones this skill, allowing preschoolers to manage emotions in various social situations.

Children who learn a second language in an immersive environment negotiate social interactions with other students and teachers., and this has a far-reaching effect:

“A number of studies suggest that improving the self-regulation skills of children in the early years is likely to have a lasting positive impact on later learning at school, and also have a positive impact on wider outcomes such as behavior and persistence,” notes the Education Endowment Foundation.

Language Immersion and Self-Motivation

Learning a second language like Spanish in an immersion program encourages self-motivation in various forms:

  • Preschoolers master vocabulary and other language skills, which fosters a sense of achievement.
  • Learning a new language like Spanish takes time and dedication.
  • Teachers inspire learners, which also improves self-motivation.

Preschoolers can extend self-motivation skills to other aspects of their lives, such as assessments and exams in school.

Language Immersion and Verbal Working Memory

Research shows that students who learn a second language in a classroom environment outperform monolingual students on verbal working memory performance.

Verbal working memory is the ability to retain words, numbers, letters, and other objects. Having a good verbal working memory could improve examination and assessment success in the future.

KSS Immersion Schools welcomes 2-6-year-olds in the San Francisco Bay Area with its social distancing-compliant Spanish language immersion programs. Find out more here!

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS!

Combining a quality early childhood education with a Spanish immersion program gives our students a leg up in their education and their lives. For parents who value multilingualism – beginning their child's formal learning with an immersion preschool is a natural fit. During this time, children’s brains are hard-wired for language learning and pick it up naturally. Bilingual children expand their awareness of the world and gain significant cognitive benefits. For students from Spanish-speaking homes, a Spanish-immersion education helps keep the family’s cultural heritage alive. There are many benefits of multilingualism and we are proud to support our students on their journey.

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