The Values of Language Immersion for Children
Growing up in the United States during the 80s and 90s, you didn’t hear much in the way of language immersion learning. Sure, you had foreign language classes by the time you reached middle school, but you only attended those a few times a week. It was anything but immersive.
These days, we understand a lot more about language immersion learning programs and their benefits. Two-way immersion programs, like the one at La Scuola International School in San Francisco, start the dual-language process as early as preschool and capitalize on those benefits to help students develop skills to last a lifetime.
If you’re wondering how a two-way immersion language program could benefit your child, then we have some exciting information for you.
Benefits of Language Immersion Learning
When children learn in two languages from an early age, research shows they develop enhanced cognitive function. This means a child’s ability to hold attention (focus without distraction), control inhibition, and easily switch from one task to another is improved. Modern educators call these capabilities “executive function” and are recognizing the vast benefits in the classroom as well as the real world.
For example, when a child learns two languages, he or she develops the ability to switch between one language and the other. This skill translates to the learning environment, where children often need to go from one task to the next, and later in life in many different circumstances.
Language immersion learning sets children up for a lifetime of improved cognitive performance, including protecting them from cognitive decline and dementia.
Fluency in Two Languages
Aside from the obvious benefits to brain function, language immersion teaches kids to speak in two different languages. That by itself is amazing, but what is also impressive is how it’s done.
At La Scuola International School in San Francisco, students learn in two languages from the very beginning. All instruction is given in Italian (the school’s “second” language) starting in preschool, and the amount of English instruction increases with each grade. Students learn the second language better because they acquire them by learning subject matters in those languages, and (after fourth grade) even do better on tests in English than students who only speak English.
The benefits of being bilingual? Children can read more, speak more easily with different people and understand different cultures, express themselves with greater clarity, have more job opportunities and potentially higher pay. In other words, they gain a richer life experience.
Learn More about Language Immersion Learning