FREQUENTLY ASKED PRESCHOOL QUESTIONS
Q. What is a dual language program?
A. It simply means that we do not require children to know Spanish before enrolling and we do not prohibit English in our classrooms. Our Reggio approach requires teachers to capture exactly what children say during learning exercises. As such, we do not inhibit a child’s expression. There are different intensities of immersion programs. We follow the standard set by Dr. Fred Genesee at McGill University, a preeminent L2 acquisition scholar: “50 percent of instruction during a given academic year must be provided through the second language for the program to be regarded as immersion” (Learning Through Two Languages, 1987, Newbury House).
Most of our teachers are bilingual, native Spanish teachers. However, we also have gifted English-only teachers who conduct facets of our program especially with newly enrolled children who would otherwise struggle to participate.
Q: How will I know what my child is learning?
A: Consistent communication is essential to our program. We greatly value parental input and participation. Parents receive weekly newsletters with documentation about recent projects and upcoming lesson plans. Child-specific portfolios and go home journals provide detailed information about your child’s experiences on a weekly basis. Parents will also see display project boards throughout the classrooms illustrating children’s work. We are committed to providing parents a well-rounded account of how their child is progressing at all stages of their development.
Q: How do you prepare children for Kindergarten and beyond?
A: Since 2009, Bethesda Reggio guided over 140 children to kindergarten successfully. Our alumni provide the best testimonials for how their children have thrived after graduating from our program. However, we do not rest on our past successes.
We strive to maintain best practices and remain abreast of current educational standards. Bethesda Reggio participates in Maryland’s Readiness for Kindergarten program providing us the latest standards required for Montgomery County Public Schools. Our teachers monitor your child’s achievements and adjust based on his/her progression. Parents are advised anytime their child is falling behind with recommendations to reinforce the child’s abilities. More about this program can be found at this following link: https://earlychildhood.marylandpublicschools.org/prek-grade-2/maryland-early-learning-framework/ready-4-kindergarten
Q. How does learning a foreign language help my child?
A. Numerous studies have confirmed that learning a second language before age 6 can make a world of difference before the child’s natural ability to learn language decreases. Please review some of these studies for more information:
Dual-Language Immersion Programs Raise Student Achievement in English. New study by RAND Corporation and Portland Public Schools, 2018. (https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9903.html).
Children who have been exposed to a foreign language early often learn to read faster and with greater ease because they are able to recognize the relationship between letters and their sounds without the help of visual objects. Exposure to a second language clearly benefits children’s reading abilities. (American Psychological Association May 1997).
Children who learn a second language typically have better problem-solving abilities, better reasoning skills, and are more creative. -(ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages & Linguistics).
Children with bilingual skills outperform similar monolingual children on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence and typically, have higher SAT or standardized test scores. (U.S. Department of Education, Longitudinal Study on Efficacy of Multilingual Literacy, 2012).
“The power to learn language is so great in the young child that it doesn’t seem to matter how many languages you throw their way. They can learn as many spoken languages as you allow them to hear systematically and regularly.” - (Learning Languages, Winter 1996).
“Studies have shown, and experience has supported, that children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are much more likely to have a native-like pronunciation.” - (ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages & Linguistics).