There are so many benefits to Dual Language programs. Here are four that are at the top of our list.
First, participating in a dual language program requires more discipline. Your child is switching from one language to another every day or week. All those linguistic gymnastics require some heavy-duty thought processing. After all, dual language isn’t just about speaking two languages. It’s also about reading, writing, thinking, living, even dreaming in two languages. Your dual kid is constantly trying to keep up with what’s going on in each language, and it’s going to have a major positive impact on the way he operates.
Bilingualism has been proven to be good for the brain. According to ongoing research, dual kids have a better executive function – the higher-order cognitive skills that help people prioritize tasks and control behaviors. In other words, dual kids are better at paying attention and prioritizing both day to day tasks and workplace or school assigned tasks than monolingual peers. Dual kids are more empathetic because of the amount of time spent learning to follow social cues in the early stages of dual language learning. And bilingualism has been linked to higher English reading levels. Learning a second language in a dual language setting actually improves a child’s skills in BOTH languages!
Since parents of Spanish learners have to individually opt in to a dual language program, it is more likely that they are engaged in their child's education overall. And it's a fact that children whose parents are more engaged in their education are better students. That kind of educational focus and interest from the parents of your child's peers can only mean good things for your child.
Learning in a dual language environment is just plain fun. Who wouldn’t enjoy the cultural activities that go hand-in-hand with learning in an immersive classroom? It's fun to get to play leader when helping your peers learn English. It's fun to learn about all these other countries and cultures. And it's really fun to have a partner classroom -- that's twice as many friends! Your dual kid is building up a community of friends that pushes outside of the traditional school mold and gives her the opportunity to learn with kids may not otherwise befriend. Dual language is the cool kids club we all want to be a part of!
I've said it before and I'll say it again -- being in dual is really awesome! Best part? We can feel pretty confident we're raising a generation of kids that will grow up and change the world. Fingers crossed :)