A common question we hear is why children should learn a second language when they’re still learning their primary language. While this may seem like demanding work, learning a second language comes more naturally the younger the child is. Additionally, the benefit will simply be worth it in the end. Studies have suggested that second language immersion has a significant impact on young minds. As a parent, it is up to you to know how bilingual education will benefit your child. As one of the best private schools in Arizona, the International School of Arizona provides valuable information on its impact.
Bilingual People Have Increased Neurological Processing
According to FutureLearn, studies suggest that bilingual people show increased activation in the brain region associated with cognitive skills. These include skills like concentration and inhibition. Additionally, bilinguals are more likely to be better listeners than single language individuals. FutureLearn states bilingual people are more likely to understand what people are saying in noisy environments. By enrolling in a language immersion program, students will benefit from greater attention to detail.
Language Immersion Promotes Improvements in Learning
In addition to improved attention to detail, children will see improvements in their learning. Those who pursue a second language may process information much more efficiently. The Dana Foundation notes this may be due to their ability to focus on information, reducing interference from unrelated sources. This is especially true for students engaged in a language immersion program where they grow their vocabulary among other studies.
Bilingual Children are Improved Problem-Solvers
Another benefit language immersion provides young children is molding them into active problem-solvers. A study conducted in 2004 found that bilingual youth were more successful in solving puzzles than their monolingual counterparts. Therefore, suggesting bilingual experience improves critical thinking skills, giving children the ability to plan, solve problems, and perform demanding tasks.
Language Immersion Improves the Primary Language
NPR reports a study was conducted that showed dual-language students outperformed single-language students in English-reading skills. Jennifer Steele, the researcher behind the study, suspects it’s because learning two languages makes students more aware of how languages work in general.
Similarly, Gigi Luk from Harvard conducted they’re own experiment where children were studying English as a secondary language. Therefore, having a much weaker understanding of the English vocabulary. Despite this, the study found that the bilingual students were just as skilled at decoding the text. Luk theorizes this is due to the bilingual’s ability to problem-solve.
Unlock Your Child’s Potential with International School of ArizonaThe International School of Arizona has over 20 years of history in providing bilingual education in the Grand Canyon State. We specialize in education beginning in pre-K to the 8th grade that focuses on two language tracks: French and Spanish. We also offer Dele testing for students working towards Spanish fluency. Contact us today and discover how our diverse staff can help your child with their education of a second language.