Monday, December 6, 2010

Bilingual Learning FULL article.

Just in case you all wanted to read the article that Emily and Kathleen wrote for yourselves.  I've posted a copy of the article! Enjoy!

"Early Childhood Education – The Best Time For Bilingual Learning

It goes without saying that a good education is one of the best ways to prepare that child for the future and that begins on day one, or at least some experts believe so. From the ages 2 to 5, many believe the brain is most flexible at this stage. Particularly for those who are teaching their child a second language, they should keep this in mind.

The Bilingual Future

One of the future trends that has become certain is the existence of a diverse, global society. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States. It is a necessity almost now a days to be multilingual. Not only for them to succeed in a hard economic time, but it's important for children in this diverse society to have intercultural appreciation and sensitivity.

Getting Ready

Traditionally a second language is taught in middle school, or even high school. However research has shown that this teaching can begin at their child care facilities. Studies clearly demonstrate that the optimal period in a child's life for multilingual education is during the preschool years – at exactly the same time they are learning their first language. Yes, it is possible to learn a second and third language later in life, but it is more difficult, because that neurological "window of opportunity" – when the brain is most malleable – has passed.

Parents, don't worry either, it will not interfere with them learning or perfecting English. It's as easy for young children to learn two or three languages as it is for them to learn one.

Where To Start

The best way for a child to learn a second language is by actually speaking it in a total immersion environment. While it's not that easy to simply take your child to another country, it is easy for you to get involved with this learning process at home. Have a theme night with the food, music and traditions of the country from which the language they're learning is from.

Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the network of Austin child care facilities belonging to the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose child care schools. Primrose Schools are located in 16 states throughout the U.S. and are dedicated to delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum throughout their preschools."