Spanish Program

Why teach a young child a second language?

Learning a language at any age is beneficial. Some studies have shown that the human brain is more open to linguistic development during the years between birth and pre-adolescence and that children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are more likely to develop native-like pronunciation (e.g.,Stozer, 1994).

Brain researchers note connections between problem solving activity and the development of creases in the gray matter of the human brain (Taylor-Ward, 2003); Blanchard & Nelson, 2007).

Bilingual children can read earlier because they are able to recognize and act upon symbolic relations between letters, characters, and sounds in writing (Bialystock, 1997).

Students who study a foreign language significantly outperform those who are not involved in a second language on all sub-tests of standardized achievement tests (Taylor-Ward, 2003).

A foreign language opens a whole new cultural world to your child.

When do you start a second language?

In their book, Kendall King and Alison Mackey state the following, “It is never too early for your baby or child to start learning another language and learning a second language from birth does not lead to confusion. Bilingual children hit the same linguistic milestones at about the same time as monolingual children.” At FELC, we begin Spanish in our nursery and continue it all the way through our Pre-K Program.

Learning languages should be fun!

There are many ways to learn a second language. At FELC, we believe it should be fun too. We incorporate the second language learning into daily routines, circle time, music, eating times and play time. Our Spanish Teachers understand the best way to learn language is to have authentic experiences and real interactions with the children.

A note from Spanish Program Director, Aida Valez

Thank you for sharing your children with me. I have formed a routine with the children, and they now love to greet me. Every day, as I enter each room, I say “Hola” and “Adiós” as I leave. I have introduced many different base vocabulary words and a great number of spanish songs to all the children. Each and every one of them loves to sing along during our daily routine.

References Cited:

Bardige, B.S. (2009). Talk to Me, Baby. Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brooks Publishing Co.

Bialystock, E. (1997). Effects of bilingualism and biliteracy on children’s emerging concepts of print. Developmental Psychology. 33(3), 429-440.

Blanchard, C. & Nelson, S. (2007). The correlation of foreign language instruction on tenth MCAS test scores. Franklin, MA: Paper Presented at the Conference of the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators Association.

King, K. & Mackey, A. (2007). The Bilingual Edge. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.