Explaining the Benefits of Dual Language Programs
Bilingual Preschool in La Jolla Builds Lifelong English and Spanish Fluency Through Daily Immersive Learning
By: La Jolla Montessori School
"Two core benefits of being bilingual are increases in cognitive capacity and critical thinking," says Kelly McFarland, M.Ed., and Director at LJMS, a bilingual Preschool through Kindergarten in La Jolla.
"Young children absorb everything. They are learning dual language vocabulary and simple sentence construction before they can even read or write! Plus, learning two languages simultaneously alerts more neural pathways and boosts brainpower to help facilitate learning other curricula like math and geography. When there's more information being pumped into the brain, kids sponge it up and become stronger overall thinkers as a result," she said.
Daily Weekday Immersion
English and Spanish are taught to Toddlers, Primary and Kindergarteners five days a week by two teachers. The first day, the lesson is taught entirely in English. The next day, the second teacher conducts the same lesson entirely in Spanish.
By the end of this three-year program, students attain verbal fluency. Their newfound communication skills help build social bonds with their peers and emotional bonds with others in diverse communities through an enhanced cultural awareness and appreciation.
Age-Range Peer Learning
One reason for early dual language program success is age-range peer learning. First Year students learn from both language teachers as well as from the Kindergarteners, or Third Year students. The little ones emulate their older peers and quickly build self-motivation to succeed. As a result, the older students become mentors and leaders to the younger students.
Two years later, the youngest have become the oldest and the process repeats. Positive social and emotional bonds are built and sustained through this Montessori age-range peer learning construct.
"We really believe that our immersive program helps students quickly absorb and understand language at our bilingual Kindergarten in La Jolla," McFarland says. "We jump into the water—not just stick our toe in. Our kids are speaking two languages by age six while growing their cognitive, social, emotional and academic skill sets. We encourage students and parents to keep upping their skills every grade to attain reading, writing and speaking fluency."
"There are many benefits of the dual language program. But the biggest is this: as our educated, fresh-faced grads enter tomorrow's workplace, they'll win those few slots to ultimately manage and lead others. Employers will hire our students because they can communicate work needs up and down the line while building strong social and emotional bonds with fellow employees," McFarland concluded.
La Jolla Montessori School, a bilingual Preschool and Kindergarten in San Diego, teaches children aged eighteen months to six years at its campus located at 8745 La Jolla Scenic Drive North. It's just minutes from the Interstate 5 at La Jolla Village Drive freeway exit.
For a virtual tour or to book a live campus tour, please visit: https://lajollamontessorischool.com/