Most students dive into a foreign language at some point, most of them by the time they are in high school. While education at the secondary level has always promoted an initiation into a foreign language, there are more formative years earlier on where students could benefit from getting a better head start. In fact, did you know there are even bilingual schools for preschoolers? In fact, there’s a new preschool opening in hoboken and even in other parts of US.
You may or may not want your child to get started with a foreign language that early, but the idea here is that you have the option. The option is to get your child learning a foreign language well before it is required. Children are a step ahead of that way in a world that is increasingly becoming bilingual. So what can you expect from one of these bilingual schools?
It is going to be different at every level, and the schools are going to, of course, take different approaches individually. You can explore the schools, and you can make the decision when you want to introduce a foreign language to your child. You also have to decide which language you want to introduce. In America, your child’s first language is going to be English of course, and the most popular second language is Spanish.
However, there are also increasingly more young students whose first language is Spanish. They learn English as their second language. No matter which group your child falls into, it’s going to be to their benefit that they become proficient in both languages. It’s not just about communication, but it’s about employment opportunities in the future in a changing world. There are also students who have immigrated to the US whose first language could be something besides English or Spanish.
In other words, there are all kinds of different situations, and there are all kinds of different schools that can accommodate these students. As students enter one of these schools, they will notice that it’s not just about learning a foreign language. In other words, it’s not like all regular curriculum is in one language and then there are foreign language classes. Each class is handled in a bilingual fashion.
What that means is the instruction provided in each classroom is addressed bilingually in an effort to get students thinking in both languages as they learn. Can you imagine this happening at the secondary level without students being introduced to this type of instruction prior to high school? That would be rather difficult and likely not very appealing.
Therefore, it is a good idea if you want your child to have this type of educational experience to get started earlier. Again, you don’t necessarily have to choose a bilingual preschool, but there are elementary education options to help your child get started right away. If it were me, and this was the choice I wanted to make, I would probably get my child started in kindergarten. That is when children usually learn languages formally anyway, outside of picking up words and communication naturally.