Sandy Springs: 404-847-0829
Discover a new language and learn more about your native language!
Learning languages other than the mother tongue gives children the opportunity to make use of their brain power, while enhancing the native language skills. Scientists also say that bilingual children have a larger density of grey matter, the part of the brain which guards memory and speech. When to use a word and with what intention is a cognitive exercise. As the child learns the combination of different sounds to create words, he develops the skill of creativeness and inventiveness in the native and foreign language. His brain activity increases, making him quick and resourceful mentally in both languages. This active brain would keep him away from mental deterioration afterwards, when he grows older.
Learning foreign languages have many academic benefits especially in the areas of reading, social studies and problem-solving subjects such as math and science. Multilingual children have more word power and verbal talent to explain science theories and hypothesis.
It is easier for such children to express their point of view in a clear cut and precise tone. Their speech is free from ambiguity because they have a wide range of vocabulary in both languages. The cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication is faster and better among multilingual children.
The following questions are commonly asked by parents who are considering enrolling their child in our Immersion Preschool and/or Bilingual Elementary School Programs. We hope the answers will give you a better understanding of our unique program.
Q. Will Total Immersion retard my child's development of English-language skills?
A. Since we start total immersion very early in life (1 YO) there is no lag relative to regular English programs. Our students develop their English as well as French and/or Spanish skills at the same time. In most cases they develop their English skills from home (75% of our families are English speaking). Every single year we see over and over again students who came from Spanish or French speaking families and develop English at almost the same rate as the students coming from English speaking families. The English and Spanish results in our Kindergarten program are amazing: our kindergarteners read in 2nd Grade level in English and in 1st grade level in Spanish. The trend is for Immersion students to perform in English as well as, or better than, their English-educated counter-parts. Learning a second language is believed (and proven in our program) to enhance a student's performance in his/her mother tongue.
Q. Will my child learn the same things as students in a monolingual school?
A. Yes, ~ our Elementary School curriculum is advanced compared with Georgia Public or Private Schools.
Q. Won't my child's English spelling suffer?
A. Not at all. It has been our experience that our Kindergarteners have great spelling skills in English, and they finish Kindergarten level sight words during August-December. On January we normally start with 1st grade sight words with most of our students. By the end of the elementary grades many Immersion students perform better than children in the regular program on several aspects of measured English skills.
Q. Does it matter if no one at home speaks Spanish or French?
A. No, ~ the program was designed for children of non-Spanish and/or non-French speaking families. Teachers are aware of this when they send home notices or assign homework. Reporting is in English.
Q. How can I help my child with homework, when I can't speak Spanish/French?
A. Our homework starts at 3Yo Preschool. At this level the parents do not have to speak Spanish/French to help their child with the homework. By the end of Kindergarten the teachers help the child to start using the dictionary for the unknown words. If the child has difficulties with the homework in Kindergarten, a meeting with the parents is required and other actions are taken, some of them including a vocabulary spreadsheet going home with the child at the end of each week including the new vocabulary introduced that week. Other suggestions are available from the classroom teacher and our office. Please ask!
Q. Will Total Immersion and Bilingual Education affect my child's social development?
A. Studies have proven that early Immersion students suffer no intellectual, emotional, or social impairment. While they might tend to associate more with their classmates on the playground, this is typical of all children. They develop the same sense of American identity, as do children in the regular program. They attend social functions with their friends in their own neighborhood as well as with their classmates.
Q. What about achievement in mathematics and other subjects?
A. Many years of testing indicates that an Immersion student's performance in other subjects is equal to the performance of students not in Immersion.
Q. What if my child wants to go to the bathroom or is injured and cannot communicate in Spanish/French yet?
A. Normally all teachers also speak English and if necessary could do so in an emergency.