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Benefits of Learning Spanish in Preschool
It is wonderful to start learning Spanish in preschool or kindergarten. Children have a window of opportunity to become familiar with Spanish before they realize they are learning a new language. If you can develop a foundation and familiarity in Spanish at a young age (before 6 or 7), children can rapidly accelerate their knowledge of Spanish in later years by tapping into various resources like songs, cartoons, and videos.
If you wait until second or third grade, children can certainly learn Spanish fluently, but there may be some resistance to immersing them in Spanish. For example, watching a program like “Blue’s Clues” (Las pistas de Blue) or "Bob the Builder" (Bob Constructor) is a great way to provide extra reinforcement in Spanish, but older children may not watch these as readily, preferring something in English instead.
Benefits taken from the Center for Applied Linguistics
Learning a Spanish at an early age...
1. Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
2. Enriches and enhances a child's mental development.
3. Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
4. Improves a child's understanding of his/her native language.
5. Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know.
6. Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
7. Gives a student a head start in language requirements for college.
8. Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.
Learning a second language not only provides the benefits of being more competitive in a global economy, but research shows that learning Spanish also improves reading, vocabulary and comprehension in English. In addition, learning Spanish has been shown to improve math abilities. Learning a second language is amazingly stimulating for the brain and may help a child’s development in many social and academic areas.
If you are interested in a list of research studies in the area of early childhood language that this information is based on, please email your request to: [email protected].
Progressive Language created the Spanish Champs Preschool and Kindergarten programs to provide the essential skills children need to develop to build a foundation for fluency. To learn about Spanish Champs, please click the button below.