As a child develops and grows, one of the most obvious skills that can be seen by the parents besides physically getting bigger, is the development of language. A child starts off making sounds that eventually turn into single words, then sentences, and pronunciation is ever improving with practice. But young infant brains are already identifying languages and making the connections between the sounds of words and information that is indicated. While it is easy to understand some parents' concerns that for young learners, the presence of a second language could end up confusing the child, the exact opposite is so often the case. Young children have the ability to soak up the information that is in front of them quite effortlessly. The cognitive exercise for their young brains to be immersed in a second language in a learning setting brings incredible benefits to their development. Not only are they able to understand and possibly speak a second language, children enrolled in a language immersion program enjoy a myriad of additional benefits.
Concentration and multi-tasking skills are sharpened through a language immersion program. When there is a communication gap between two people, another person’s words can be meaningless to the hearer. But through consistent exposure, these meaningless sounds become words that hold information. Instead of ignoring the sounds, the child’s ears and brain will be tuned in to what is being communicated.
Planning and problem solving are more benefits to language immersion. Language in its basic function allows a person to not only communicate but also to organize their thoughts. With exposure to a second language, a child is able to develop organizational skills, making them better at planning their movements and being thoughtful of how to tackle a problem or activity.
Increased literacy skills in a child’s native language are surprisingly enhanced due to a second language immersion program. Because proficiency and literacy go hand and hand, the increased attention on the meaning of words can strengthen this part of a child’s brain, leading to higher literacy rates.
Encouraged empathy in students who partake in a second language immersion program is yet another added benefit. Students are able to hear tone, see facial expressions, and identify body language connected to a different language, which can increase their perspective and sensitivity to others.
Combining language immersion with montessori skills that are already being practiced in the classroom can give your child an incredible and practical use and understanding in the second language being studied. In a typical Montessori classroom, skills such as independence, concentration, coordination, and order are already at play. Adding in these added brain strengthening benefits of being surrounded by a second language, the goals of Montessori skills will increase exponentially, leaving your child full to the brim of practical, lifelong abilities that will benefit them in school, work, and through the rest of their lives.
If you are looking for a language immersion program in Northern California, check out Fountainhead Montessori School, particularly our Danville, Orinda, and Pleasant Hill campuses today!