Why Language Immersion Can Help Your Child Flourish
In the early years of life, children are capable of learning a great deal. In fact, they are often referred to as sponges, as learning, particularly before they reach the age of six, is something that comes very easily to them indeed. The plasticity of the brain is huge at this point in development, allowing them to absorb vast amounts of information in the way that the adult brain simply is not wired to do.
This is very much the case when it comes to learning new languages. While it is possible to learn a new language as an adult – as many adult immigrants have proven – it can be a very difficult thing. But for children, learning a second or even a third language is easy – it’s natural. For the first eight years of their lives, learning a language comes naturally to the typical child. Learning through imitation, repetition, and learning new songs and games in the language and regarding the new language can help them to easily become fluent in a language that is not their native one. If this learning is able to occur within the first six years of life, all the better. Absorbing new grammar and developing natural pronunciation of a new language’s sounds and words is going to happen easiest in this first half of a decade or so of life.
Even outside of these first six to eight years, the door has not fully closed for easy language learning. Children can learn new languages with relative ease all the way up through the age of 12, though it is best that the language is introduced at least before the age of 10. Once a child reaches the age of eight, however, they begin to lose their natural ability to reproduce the foreign sounds that they hear. This progressively begins to make the learning of a new language all the more challenging indeed.
The benefits of knowing more than one language are immense, especially as our world is one that is quickly becoming more and more multicultural with each passing year. As a matter of fact, it has even been found that people who are bilingual or know even more languages will make up to one fifth more than their peers who know but one language. And when you give your children the gift of being bilingual, they are then able to pick up additional languages with more ease – something that will benefit them immensely in their adult lives for the reason mentioned above and even more.
Spanish is a particularly important language to learn, as it is now the second most spoken language in all of the world, with very nearly 400 million people considered to be native speakers of it. This means that it is actually even more widely spoken (at least natively) than English! Therefore, enrolling your child in a school with a thorough Spanish curriculum for kids is something that will benefit them immensely. Looking for a school with a Spanish curriculum for kids that starts at a young age will be particularly critical, as far too many schools in the United States do not really have a Spanish curriculum for elementary school but only for students of an older age, when the easiness of language acquisition is already fading or even gone entirely. A Spanish curriculum for kids should ideally be starting, as a Spanish curriculum for kids would be started in many other countries, at a very young age, such as right when the child is first entering school. A Spanish curriculum for kids will help to introduce the language in a natural and fun way, often using tools such as Spanish story book sets that help to make learning fun and enjoyable for younger learners.
If you can find a preschool Spanish curriculum for kids, that’s all the better. A preschool Spanish curriculum for kids will let them learn in an even more immersive way. Some parents might even choose dual language immersion programs, as these will make the process of language learning more of an easy process than anything else out there.