Why a Bilingual Education
As the world evolves into an international community, the need for a second, perhaps even a third, language becomes more crucial. The National Governors’ Association resoundingly adopted the premise that international education, which includes teaching and learning about other countries, their citizens, and their languages, is as important as economic prosperity, national security, and world stability.
Research on child development reveals that the ability to learn languages is highest between birth and age six. Immersion programs maximize a child’s natural curiosity and ability to learn a second language during this important window of opportunity. Immersion education offers benefits in the following categories:
- Cognitive and intellectual development: Students enrolled in immersion programs have enhanced listening and study skills, and demonstrate academic achievement with higher scores in reading and verbal tests as well as in other subjects such as math and science.
- Bilingualism: Students in immersion environments speak their second language as naturally as their first. Results from research show that these children not only learn the second language, but also their own language with clarity, and that they excel on both foreign-language and native-language standardized tests.
- Cultural growth: Students in immersion programs establish a keen understanding of the world around them. They are exposed to a global world view in which they develop an expanded vision of other cultures, insights into their own, and new and different ways of thinking.
- Enhanced personal opportunities: Bilingualism helps children build self-esteem, creativity, problem-solving skills and math ability, and gives them a head start for professional and economic opportunities.
Articles on Bilingualism
- Klass, Perri. "Raising a Truly Bilingual Child." The New York Times: The Checkup. 10 July 2017.
- Kamenetz, Anya. "6 Potential Brain Benefits of Bilingual Education." NPR: nprEd. 29 November 2016.
- Kinzler, Katherine. "The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals." The New York Times: Gray Matter. 11 March 2016.
- Harris, Elizabeth. "Dual-Language Programs Are on the Rise, Even for Native English Speakers." The New York Times. 8 October 2015.
- Kweskin, Susan. "Bilingualism Postpones Dementia and Alzheimer." Neurology Times. 2 December 2014.
- Chan, Amanda L. "7 Reasons Why It's Good to Speak Another Language." Huffington Post: Huffpost Education. 14 June 2014.
- Singmaster, Heather. "Bilingualism: Valuable for the Brain and Society." Education Week. 14 March 2016.
- Lynch, Matthew. "Should Bilingual Learning be Required?" Education Week: Edublogs. 16 September 2013.
- Ithaca College. "Bilingual children have a two-tracked mind." Science Daily. 15 July 2013.
- Kluger, Jeffrey."Understanding How the Brain Speaks Two Languages." Time Magazine. 23 April 2013.
- de Lange, Catherine. "Educators once opposed raising bilingual children. Experts now say it’s beneficial." The Washington Post. 11 June 2012.
- Being bilingual 'boosts brain power'." BBC News: Health. 1 May 2012.
- Hotz, Robert Lee. "The Bilingual Brain Is Sharper and More Focused, Study Says." The Wall Street Journal: Health Blog. 30 April 2012.
- Bhattacharjee, Yudhijit. "Why Bilinguals Are Smarter." The New York Times: Gray Matter. 17 March 2012.
French is spoken by over 220 million people on five continents in 80 states and governments. Although more people speak Chinese, Hindi, Spanish and Arabic, French is spoken in more countries – over a greater geographical area– than any of these, making French second only to English as a global language. French is also an official language of NATO, INTERPOL, and the United Nations.