Why Spanish Now? Consider These 3 Benefits of Enrolling Your Child In a Spanish Immersion Program
In our increasingly globalized world, there’s a high demand for bilingual professionals. For this reason, you may want your child to learn a second language besides English. Being the second most spoken language in the world, Spanish is the most viable second language for your child to learn. That means you should consider enrolling your child in a bilingual preschool that offers Spanish immersion programs for toddlers.
While you may be cognizant of the benefits of your child learning Spanish, you may still wonder why your child needs to learn Spanish that early. If the question on your mind is why Spanish now, the following benefits of learning Spanish early will ease your mind.
Children Learn Languages Faster and Easier
At a younger age, children have a significant advantage in learning new languages. Biologically, a child’s brain is wired to absorb as much new information as the child is exposed to. Neurologists say that the brain systems that specialize in learning new languages function optimally when a child is four years old to around 11 years. Some neurologists describe a child’s brain as a sponge that absorbs information unconsciously. It’s part of the reason why a four-year-old child asks 437 questions a day on average.
After puberty, the ability of a child to learn a new language naturally declines. At the same time, the workload at school increases. This makes learning Spanish or another second language tougher in middle school and subsequent levels. Hence, it pays to enroll your child in a Spanish immersion preschool.
You’ll find a Reggio preschool near you that offers a language immersion program. When your child is speaking fluent Spanish and English at a native level by age six or seven, you’ll no longer question, why Spanish now?
Learning a Second Language Early Develops the Executive Functions of the Brain
Studies have proven that bilingual students are better at performing certain functions, such as planning, multitasking, concentration, and problem-solving. In past centuries, parents were uneasy about their children learning a second language because they feared bilingualism would slow their children’s cognitive development. Unfortunately, there were few scientific studies that encouraged bilingualism. Today, numerous studies on bilingual students have proven that studying a second language enhances a child’s cognitive development.
Psychologists have found that bilingual students engage in constant mental workouts, as they sieve through more than one language system to find the most appropriate language to communicate. This is unlike monolingual students who only communicate in one language. The constant mental workout that bilingual students engage in makes them better problem solvers. Also, because they must prioritize which language is appropriate in different situations, they naturally become good at task-switching and multitasking.
Spanish Immersion Programs Enhances a Child’s Understanding of English
Most parents who are on the fence about language immersion programs for toddlers fear that learning a second language will impede a child’s understanding of the English language. Such parents may wonder, why Spanish now? They may worry that their children will not speak English at a native level. However, the opposite is true. Spanish and English have Latin roots, so a bilingual student will learn more vocabularies in both languages.
Spanish immersion programs for children teach students how to pronounce Spanish and English sounds without an accent. You may worry that another child in a monolingual preschool has better English skills when your child is in the first year of an immersion program. However, as children progress with the immersion program, they become better in both Spanish and English. In the long-term, bilingual students will have an edge over monolingual students because they’ll speak native English and Spanish at the same time.
Your child will benefit immensely by learning a second language early. Bilingual students have better grades in the higher learning levels, are better problem solvers, and can work in multiple cultures. These are some benefits that should answer your question, why Spanish now? Consider enrolling your child in a bilingual preschool near you.