While it might not seem to fall within the scope of the STEM curriculum, even though we’re on Summer break in all of our Premier Academy centers, one of our regular weekly activities continues to be learning Spanish.
Many adults consider this to be more of an academic topic best left to school-time curriculum, but the children tend to view it more as a game as they explore the different ways other peoples and cultures refer to everyday objects and activities. We feel it’s important to keep children exposed to second language learning all year long.
Here are some of the reasons why:
Cognitive Development / Academic Achievement
There are good reasons to lump second language learning in with academic subjects. Studies have shown that learning a language has more to do with cognitive development than linguistic development. In other words, learning another language forces the brain to think more than it forces the tongue to work. As a result of practicing another language, though, children become better at problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, flexibility of thought, and memory.
With all of this cognitive development going on, it’s not a surprise to discover that children who learned a second language at an early age tend to demonstrate higher academic achievement in their school subjects. Because of developing the skills mentioned above, children have demonstrated higher scores on standardized tests as well as a more complete grasp of their native language.
Personal Development and Fluency
As we all know, our preschoolers are like little sponges. They are learning so fast right now, everything they see and hear is being taken into their knowledge base. Being exposed to Spanish instruction at this age also enables them to imprint the sound of the language on their brains, making it easier for them to achieve fluency as well as the proper accents. This fluency and flexibility helps them encounter a more friendly world as they become more able to communicate with people from outside their native sphere.
While they are learning about this other language, children learn more about the cultures and places where the language is spoken. Not only does this become significant for personal development, teaching children about other places helps them appreciate differences, develop a love for learning, and become more successful adults who are able to work with people from a diversity of backgrounds. In addition, if they develop into fully bilingual adults, they will find it easier to learn additional languages as well as discover more employment and development opportunities than they would speaking only a single language.
Want to know more about why we continue to teach Spanish classes through the summer? Here’s a handy info page for you.