Recent studies have shown that there are "windows of opportunity" for learning certain skills. There is strong evidence that the ability to acquire a foreign language is best before the age of five.
Young children acquire languages with greater fluency than older children or even adults.
Some benefits of acquiring a second language at an early age are:
The brains of young children actually form new neural connections. This strengthens their intellectual "foundation" as well as future academic success.
Numerous studies have shown that in addition to greater appreciation for other cultures, learning a second language also results in strong>academic and developmental advantages. Consider the following findings of cognitive benefits:
"Learning other languages altered grey matter – the area of the brain that processes information – in the same way that exercise builds muscles. People who learned a second language at a younger age were also more likely to have advanced grey matter than those who learned later."
Read more about it in this related article: Being Bilingual Boosts Brain Power. BBC News, October 2004
A key linguistic benefit of early language learning is a more native-like speaking ability:
"Early exposure is the best way for a human child to achieve full and equal native fluency in two languages with no accent or grammatical error."
(Start Early to Help Your Child Become Bilingual, Pediatrics for Parents, Vol. 20, Iss.10, 2009)
Learning a second language also leads to:
Bambini's parents prepare their children for a lifetime of success in the multicultural, multilingual world of the twenty-first century.
Bambini's curriculum presents the Spanish language in phrases, simple sentences and target structures. We believe that language instruction for children must go beyond simple vocabulary lists to functional language. We want to give children the tools to express themselves simply in another language.
Teaching children language in functional chunks such as, "Mi nombre es____," or "Yo quiero______" allows children to assimilate and communicate global meaning before breaking language down into its discrete grammatical parts. Linguistic research shows that children retain and retrieve language best in chunks, rather than in individual words; this approach enables them to communicate more fully, sooner.
Language Chunks: equipping children right away with functional language through key phrases and language chunks rather than just vocabulary lists
Sheltered language: using slower, well-articulated language and consistent phrasing to facilitate comprehension
Rhythm: setting key phrases and structures to rhythm as a retention and retrieval tool
Repetition: repeating key phrases and structures to reinforce retention
Constant language: optimizing exposure time to the language by providing maximum input
Positive reinforcement: rewarding children with praise at every level of participation and skill to foster a positive, can-do attitude toward language learning.