Build Brain Power! – Learning a second language at an early age stimulates brain development and expands cognitive abilities. Greater neural activity promotes denser tissue in the areas of the brain related to memory, attention, and language resulting in greater flexibility in thinking, enhanced mental development, improved listening and problem-solving skills, and sensitivity to other cultures. (Bialystok 2001, Mechelli et al., 2004; Kovelman, Baker, & Petitto, 2006).
Compete in a Global Economy – Surprisingly, only 5% of the world population is a native English-speaker. Foreign language skills provide our future leaders the ability to communicate in a global economy.
Develop an Authentic Accent – Research shows that kids who learn a second language before the age of 7, develop more native-like pronunciation, speech patterns and intonation.
Build the Foundation for Reading Excellence – Children who acquire a second-language learn to continuously scaffold, connect and compare what they know with what they are learning. Skills learned in one language are easily transferred to the other language. Children are able to recognize symbolic relationships between letters and characters to become excelling readers in both languages.
Achieve Higher Test Scores – Standardized test results show that students who have focused on foreign language studies at an early age routinely achieve among the highest scores in all subjects tested (CAL, NABE, 2003).
Encourage Cultural Sensitivity – Not only does a second language provide young people the ability to communicate in another language but, at Little Big Minds Preschool, we focus on educating our students about world cultures. We believe that this holistic approach provides students with a unique understanding of other cultures and the confidence to engage in discussion about cultural differences. By trying different ethnic foods, playing games, dancing, listening to music and reading stories about other countries we encourage a sensitivity to other cultures.
Embrace Natural Learning – Unlike adult learners, children are able to absorb a language naturally. They learn through song, dance, interactive and experiential play. They mimic pronunciation fearlessly and build vocabulary effortlessly. It beats hours in the high school Spanish lab!