Parents are excited about the first words their child can speak. Others wonder in what language they will hear these words. Some families consider bilingualism as a way to help keep cultural and ethnic heritage alive. Others want their kids to have more personal and professional opportunities in the future. Bilingualism provides children with immediate cognitive benefits to help their brains work more efficiently.
Importance of Language Immersion in Preschool
Babies are born with the possibility of speaking any language. However, the brain of an infant starts to specialize and concentrate on the sounds of the main language they hear at age 1. Thus, kids with earlier exposure to languages than others have better chances of retention and proficiency. One way to expose them to a second language is through dual immersion daycare. The daycare offers full-day bilingual education that lets your child grow and learn in a setting that concentrates on cultural appreciation which is essential to prepare them for kindergarten.
Kinds of Immersing Programs
Language programs designed for preschoolers range from complete to partial, two-way and one-way immersion. A complete immersion program exposes kids to a foreign language 100% of the time. In a partial immersion program, kids are exposed to the language 50% of the time. Some schools have two teachers per classroom who speak a different non-English language exclusively. A two-way program helps kids gain fluency in English and the foreign language. However, a lot of preschool programs do not do two-ways immersion and only teach a non-English language.
Making the Right Decision for your Little One
Before you decide to enroll your little one in a language immersion program, know that it requires commitment. You must treat this experience as a lifelong pursuit of learning. You must make the decision as a family. Language immersion is a learning environment that can be taken by your child through high school. You must be committed to letting your child learn without your direct guidance. Even if you don’t’ speak the foreign language you want your child to learn, you may still enroll them in a relevant preschool to give your child access to other cultures, travel, and opportunities. While it may not be possible for all families, learning another language provides many benefits that your child can enjoy, no matter their proficiency level. Exposing them earlier to the desired language offers gives them an advantage over others who only learn one language.