Why Spanish?

Home/Why Spanish?
Why Spanish?2018-11-26T14:49:43+00:00

What is an Immersion Preschool?

Language immersion, or simply immersion, is a method of teaching a second language in which the student’s second language is the medium of classroom instruction. Through this method, learners explore all the traditional academic centers (math, literacy, science, and social studies) in their second language. The main purpose of this method is to foster bilingualism, in other words, to develop learners’ communicative competence or language proficiency in their target language.

At Little Big Minds, we aim to leverage the rapid brain development that occurs between birth and 5 years old by providing children rich and dynamic learning opportunities and we do it all in Spanish!!

Why Spanish Immersion?

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!

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my child’s temperature be taken each day?2020-07-13T20:41:27+00:00

We are asking parents to conduct daily health screenings prior to sending their child to school. Using the “LBM Daily Health Screening” (below), parents should check for any change in symptoms.  If a child exhibits any of the listed symptoms they should not be sent to school.  Combatting this illness and preventing its spread is all of our responsibilities.  Parents will be asked to acknowledge that they have successfully completed the symptom check when they sign their child in each day.

Will teachers and staff be required to wear masks?2020-07-13T20:35:46+00:00

Teachers and Staff will be required to wear a mask at all times.

Teachers will wear masks during drop off and pick up daily and whenever possible in the classroom. Staff will be reminded not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands frequently. Staff will be provided with information on the proper use, removal, and washing of cloth and clear mask face coverings.

How does nap time work and how often will nap bedding be cleaned?2020-07-13T20:44:45+00:00

Children will nap in their own classrooms. Napping mats will be kept 6 feet apart from each other. Each child will have an individual mat, labeled with his/her name. Children may bring lovies or blankets from home that will remain on their own nap bags or their cubbies after nap. Nap bedding will go home once a week on Friday to be brought back on Mondays.

Has the pay schedule changed? / Can I pay on a weekly basis?2020-07-13T20:44:32+00:00

We will adhere to the financial policy set forth in the Parent Handbook.

We have taken on significant additional expenses in order to staff classrooms without co-mingling, provide runners, modify classrooms, increase access to safe resources and disinfecting supplies, modify policies and procedures, and more. Each of these items comes with a significant cost. Weekly tuition does not allow us to budget, plan, or staff for consistent services.

If one of my child’s teachers is absent, who will cover for them?2020-07-13T20:44:17+00:00

Since we are not mixing classes for aftercare, each classroom has a dedicated aftercare teacher. If a morning teacher is absent the designated aftercare teacher will substitute wherever possible. If an aftercare teacher is absent, a morning teacher will stay for aftercare.

Will all parents be notified of a positive COVID-19 result in any of the classrooms?2020-07-13T20:44:02+00:00

All parents will be notified of a positive COVID-19 result on campus. Please understand that due to privacy laws, we cannot disclose ANY individually identifiable information about the affected person (even whether the affected person is a child or an adult). Children in the affected classroom will be asked to stay home for 48 hours while we conduct deep cleaning and monitor the symptoms of everyone exposed.

Will the student-teacher ratio change?2020-07-13T20:43:49+00:00

Given limited classroom space and teaching staff, student/teacher ratios will not change for the coming year. No care beyond your program extra hours option available in the fall.

What happens if school is closed by Arizona mandate or because of an on-campus outbreak?2020-08-21T03:46:45+00:00

If we are forced to close campuses at any time due to government mandate or force majeure, we will follow the financial policy set forth in our Parent Handbook which states that we will not refund current month tuition but future charges will be halted until the school can re-open.

How often are teachers being tested for COVID?2020-08-21T03:44:58+00:00

Prior to their return to work, all teachers will be asked a series of risk questions.  An affirmative response to any of those questions will trigger mandatory testing.  In the absence of these risk factors, a teacher would be tested if they exhibited symptoms or if there were a change in their risk factors (traveling outside of the US, exposure to someone with COVID, the presence of a fever).

What are the common areas and how often will they be sanitized?2020-07-13T20:43:21+00:00

Playgrounds are the only common areas. 

High-touch surfaces will be sprayed with DHS approved disinfectant after each class use and before the next class enters the playground.

How will LBM track and trace COVID exposure and transmission?2020-07-13T20:43:08+00:00

As a childcare provider licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services we are always required to report communicable diseases to the local health agency through the Communicable Diseases Outbreak Report.

Under what circumstances do I need to provide a doctor’s note for my child to return to school?2020-08-21T03:44:08+00:00
  • During this time of heightened concern, please understand that we will err on the side of caution. We are tasked with protecting all of the children in our care. If a child is exhibiting symptoms, we will ask their parent to pick them up.
  • If a child presents with any persistent symptoms that align with COVID, a doctor’s note will be required prior to their return to class. For example, if a child has shortness of breath and a runny nose related to allergies, a doctor’s note would confirm that the symptoms are not related to COVID. If your child has any of the above symptoms and you are confident they are not related to COVID, please be proactive and seek a doctor’s note in advance.
  • If a child tests positive for COVID they must stay home for 14 days or provide proof of a negative test.
  • If a child has a fever, they must stay home for 72 hours and provide a doctor’s note to return to school.
What if someone in my household has tested positive?2020-07-13T20:42:41+00:00

To stop the spread, we will require children with family members or members of their household who have tested positive to stay home for 14 days.

What happens if a teacher tests positive for COVID?2020-07-13T20:42:25+00:00

If a teacher tests positive they must stay home for 14 days and they are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test before they return to work.

What happens if a child tests positive for COVID?2020-08-21T15:56:40+00:00

A child who tests positive must stay home for 14 days or until they are able to provide proof of a negative COVID test. If 2 or more children in the same class test positive for COVID in a 14-day period, the classroom may be closed for 48 hours for deep cleaning.

What symptoms require that I pick up my child?2020-08-21T03:41:51+00:00
Symptoms
Fever / Chills / Sweats
Cough
Shortness of Breath or Rapid Breathing
Fatigue / Lethargy
Nasal Congestion/Runny Nose
Body Aches
Loss of Taste and/or Smell
Diarrhea
Nausea
Vomiting

Children who are sent home from school with any of the above symptoms must provide a doctor’s note to confirm the symptoms are not related to COVID prior to their return to school.   If a child presents with a fever, they must stay home for a minimum of 72 hours for ongoing monitoring and they must present a doctor’s note to return to school.

How is drop-off and pickup handled this year?2020-07-13T20:40:15+00:00

Due to restricted parent access, arrivals and departures will be handled through curbside service and staggered pickup/drop-off times. Parents should wait in their vehicle for a masked staff member to meet them and walk their children to their classrooms.

Will children be required to wear masks?2020-07-13T20:35:40+00:00

Children will not be required to wear masks but are encouraged to do so. 

For toddlers, masks can be uncomfortable and, in fact, often lead children to touch their nose and mouth more often. Enforcing mask use in the classroom for extended periods of time will be difficult. We will focus instead on regular handwashing, encouraging children to keep their hands away from their mouths and eyes and disinfecting shared toys and surfaces regularly.

As a parent, what new expectations are there of me with regard to COVID-19?2020-07-13T20:35:19+00:00

You can help us by embracing the HEROES guidelines attached here.

• Take your children’s temperature daily,
• Work with your children to teach and reinforce proper hygiene at home.
• Maintain social distance at arrival and departure times.
• Avoid gathering in groups.
• Wear masks in all public places.
• Keep your children home if they are sick.

What cleaning measures are being implemented?2020-07-13T20:34:55+00:00

Classroom surfaces, furniture, and toys will be cleaned daily. We are using guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting set forth by the Center for Disease Control and approved by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Can I still visit my child’s classroom?2020-07-13T20:33:45+00:00

Parents will not be allowed on campus except in case of an emergency.

Child safety is of paramount importance and one of the best ways we can limit unnecessary exposure is to limit the number of adults on campus. Throughout our history, we have celebrated our Open Door policy and we have invited and encouraged parent participation and involvement on our campuses. We can’t wait to welcome you back to our classrooms. Until then, thank you for your understanding as we work together to protect one another.

What is going to be different this school year?2020-07-13T20:33:24+00:00
  • Children will stay with their class all day. We will attempt to prevent or limit all co-mingling of children wherever possible.
  • No parents will be allowed on campus until further notice (except in case of emergency).
  • All arrivals and departures will be done through curbside drop-off/pick-up.
  • All community events, enrichments, and afterschool independent providers programs (i.e. Flamenco, soccer, etc.) are postponed until further notice.
  • Classroom parties will be “children only.”
What are the benefits of bilingualism?2018-11-19T14:26:47+00:00

Research confirms that learning a second language before age five significantly alters the brain’s structure. According to the Society for Neuroscience, increased brain activity is so prominent and predictable that neurologists can identify bilingualism from a brain scan[1]. The cognitive benefits include reading proficiency, increased comprehension, greater flexibility in thinking, improved listening and problem-solving skills[2]. The belief that learning two languages might confuse or delay young learners has been consistently disproved. Rather, new studies show that learning two languages before the age of 5 gives children the ability to scaffold fundamental skills and apply them to both languages.

[1] Society for Neuroscience. (September 2008) [2] Bialystok, E. (2007). Language acquisition and bilingualism.

Will Spanish immersion hinder my child’s English language skills?2017-11-11T03:35:59+00:00

No

All skills and concepts learned in the second language, transfer to the native language.  In fact, research indicates that children who study a foreign language develop a better understanding and command of their native language in the long-run. The curriculum at Little Big Minds will exceed all standards for early childhood education as stipulated by the Arizona Early Childhood Learning Standards; our graduates will have mastered all the traditional preschool concepts, and in addition, they will have an excellent command of Spanish.

Why Spanish?2017-11-11T03:35:10+00:00

Learning Mandarin is becoming increasingly popular so, why Spanish?

The United States has the 2nd largest Spanish speaking population in the world. There will be 52 million Spanish speakers in the United States by 2020. Spanish provides a more practical opportunity for daily application than any other language. Once a child has learned another language they are able to transfer those skills to learning other languages but Spanish is a functional academic add-on while providing all the cognitive advantage.

Resources

Go to Top