At World City Center, children are immersed in the target language of their classroom, in our case this is Spanish. We utilize the 90:10 ratio for language immersion. What that means is that for 90% of the day the target language is spoken and for the other 10% of the day English is spoken. That means that 90% of the time, the teacher speaks in the target language and all activities are done in the target language allowing for an immersion environment.
Research informs us that dual-language acquisition as early as preschool can improve brain function. What we have learned is that the best time to learn multiple languages is early in life while the brain is still developing its “main learning pathways” (Vos, 2008). After about 12 years old the brain loses stops making new connections and pathways, making second language acquisition more difficult. In addition an enriched environment has the ability to provide opportunities for brain cells to make important connections. We believe that a play-based, dual-language environment along with other curriculum decisions can create the powerful enriched environment needed to provide a foundation for learning that leads to future academic success across all subjects.
How do young children learn a second language in an immersion environment?
- By listening to the target language
- Imitating what they hear
- Through rhymes, songs, games and counting
- While having fun: PLAY
Vos, J. (2008). Can preschool children be taught a second language?. Retrieved from http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=60
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