What are the benefits of learning Spanish?
There are cognitive, academic and personal benefits to learning Spanish. The cognitive benefits include improved problem-solving, enhanced creativity, a stronger working memory meaning the ability to hold facts in the mind while figuring out complex problems. Learning a second language actually enhances literacy in the first language. Academically studies have shown bilingual children score higher on standardized tests such as the SAT, bilingual children have a strong ability in meta-language skills including a higher understanding of grammar. There are also personal benefits with learning Spanish including the confidence to be able to speak and understand a foreign language! Ease in traveling abroad as an adult in Spanish speaking countries, the ability to learn other languages easier, colleges look favorably on bilingual applicants, future job opportunities open up to bilingual adults including higher pay in many fields, and much more!
How can my child learn and understand Spanish at preschool?
At preschool there are many phrases that are repeated over and over, for example, "lavanse las manos" (wash your hands) they will quickly learn these phrases and understand them without any hesitation.
Why learn Spanish as a child?
People learn a foreign language easiest when they are young and the younger they are the quicker they will pick it up and learn the accent. There are also benefits for the brain from learning a foreign language that can't be achieved in any other way even if they do not continue their Spanish learning. Research has shown many cognitive benefits from learning another language as a child. Some of these benefits include attention building, better problem solving skills, spatial awareness, and heightened creativity. Studies have shown that bilingual children score better on standardized tests and actually have overall higher cognitive performance in basic academic subjects in elementary school. Benefits of learning another language also enhances literacy development in the first language!
Why go to a Spanish Immersion Preschool if I will be enrolling in a Spanish Immersion Elementary?
The best age for language acquisition and learning the native accent is before the age of 6, the earlier they start the better the language acquisition. At Bilingüe we offer small class sizes making the language learning experience very comfortable and fun. Because of the low teacher/child ratio we are able to give children one-on-one time as we play and do projects. At preschool they are able to attend half-day and they are given ample opportunity to play making the language learning experience fun and not overwhelming. When a child leaves our program after attending all three years they will already have a valuable foundation of Spanish.
Will my child be behind their peers academically when they enter Kindergarten?
Many parents ask us this question and your child will not be behind academically. Studies and research have shown that learning a second language actually enhances literacy in the first language! Learning another language increases the synapses in the brain actually building the brain. A great benefit in learning Spanish as a second language is the letters are written the same, the vowels are the same, and 17 out of 26 of the sounds are the same. In our class children learn to write the letters, hear the sounds, identify the beginning of words just as in a traditional English class. We do fully expect parents to read at least 20 minutes a day with their child in English just as they would do if their child were enrolled in a traditional English speaking preschool.
What if I do not understand Spanish?
Don't worry, your kids will! Some of our strongest Spanish speaking students come from non-Spanish speaking families. We also try very hard to keep the parent informed through emails and take-home songs.
How can I continue Spanish learning after preschool?
There are Elementary level Spanish Immersion programs offered at Naval Avenue Elementary School in Bremerton, Vinland Elementary School in Poulsbo, and Burley Glenwood Elementary School in Port Orchard. Many of the local private schools offer Spanish as part of their curriculum. Many elementary schools also offer after school Spanish programs.
How much Spanish will my child learn?
The amount of Spanish learned is different for each child. All children will leave with a great foundation of Spanish. Your child will understand before they will speak. The first few months children are still getting used to the new language and may not pick up very much vocabulary but by the end of the school year almost all the children can recite words and phrases, count to 20 or higher, name many colors, identify many of the letters and say it with a matching animal, recite songs, communicate their needs during snack time and understand a lot of phrases and vocabulary we use every day. Learning another language takes years to master and although they will understand a lot they will still have a lot to learn. It's important to be committed and always encourage them in this exciting adventure!
How do I enroll my child?
To enroll go to the preschool page to choose your class, meet with the director at a tour or open house, fill out and pay the registration form and fee.