Benefits of a 2nd Language

Beyond the obvious advantages of knowing a second language and the implications for future travel, work, and study, there is conclusive evidence that learning a second language at an early age provides your child with innumerable intellectual and social benefits.

What does Garabatos mean? Garabatos is the Spanish word for "scribbles."

Studies demonstrate that young children who receive second language instruction:

Contrary to some parents' concerns, learning a second language actually complements and enhances a child's native language development. And of course, the ability to transcend one's culture and experience the lives of others through a foreign language is an invaluable gift that enriches and broadens your child's life experiences.

Research Links/News

Idaho Statesman (6/28/2007)

"Two Boise schools going international" Click to view

Idaho Statesman (4/19/2007)

"Espanol for toddlers: Parents start early language learning" Click to view

"Bilingualism has been shown to foster classification skills, concept formation, analogical reasoning, visual-spatial skills, creativity, and other cognitive gains. Most of these claims hinge on the condition of fluent bilingualism-in other words, a certain level of competence must be reached in both languages before the positive effects of bilingualism can occur."

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"Brain imaging showed that bilingual speakers had denser gray matter compared with monolingual participants. The difference was especially significant in the brain's left side--an area known to control language and communication skills. The right hemisphere of bilingual speakers also showed a similar trend. The researchers say that although language is thought to be mediated by functional changes in the brain, they show that being bilingual structurally changes the brain. Their study shows the effect was strongest in people who had learned a second language before age 5."
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District Administration: A Magazine for K-12 Education Leaders

As districts review their foreign language policies, they may wish to consider research indicating the multiple benefits of learning a second language-and starting in the early grades. In the U.S., most students who study a foreign language begin at age 14 or later. But linguistic studies show that children who begin learning a second language before adolescence exhibit more native-like pronunciation and are more likely to become fluent speakers.
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Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings (January 2006)
"While only 44 percent of our high school students are studying any foreign language, learning a second or even a third foreign language is compulsory for students in the European Union, China, Thailand, and many other countries."

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