The college visit for your 16 year old daughter took an interesting turn when she mentioned her interest in getting a least a minor, if not a major in Spanish. Although your daughter knows that she wants to follow the premed track and major in biology for her undergraduate degree, she is still trying to decide whether or not to stick with her love for the Spanish language, a love that began when she had her very first preschool Spanish lessons. Those early lessons were a small part of her Montessori education, but they sparked an interest that has lasted through her first two years in high school.
When your daughter explained that she was enrolled in Honors Spanish IV for her high school junior year and that she intended to take Advanced Placement Spanish her senior year, the admissions counselor asked about continuing the language in college. When your daughter responded that she was thinking of at least getting a minor, the admissions counselor picked up the phone and called the head of the Spanish department on campus. Turns out this college was particularly interested in premed students who were willing to continue their Spanish education at the college level. That Spanish for preschoolers that first intrigued your daughter was, actually, in high demand for anyone on this particular campus who was even thinking about a medical career.
Within minutes the Spanish professor had joined the interview and was thrilled to hear your daughter’s story. The preschool Spanish lessons did not seem that novel to your family, but it was an interesting point of discussion in the admissions office that day!
Preschool Spanish Lessons Can Pave the Way for Students Who Want to be Fluent in More Than One Language
When the youngest of students are first learning to sing the days of the week, the months of the year, and other preschool and elementary school Spanish curriculum basics, the songs simply seem cute to some parents. If your young child, however, develops a real love for a second language, that cuteness can become a critical interest later in life. In a time when a growing number of the U.S. population does not speak English, a Spanish speaking doctor can serve as a real asset in many parts of the country.
La escuala, the school, that you select for your children is important. Even the very first educational choices that you make for your preschoolers, in fact, can have a huge impact on their future. Consider the following facts and statistics about importance preschool Spanish lessons may have for your children or grandchildren:
- English only language learners may not have all of the advantages that people who learn two or three languages have. Did you know that children who speak a second language can learn a third language even faster?
- Spanish is the official language of 21 countries worldwide. Many of those spanish speaking countries are home to several exquisite and fun travel destinations.
- Children are naturally acquiring language skills for their first eight years. At these earlier ages, the children typically learn through imitation, repetition, songs and games.
- Understanding a new language allows student to embrace different cultures.
- Efforts at teaching a second language are especially effective at the youngest of ages because once you children reach the ages of eight and 12, they will lose the ability to hear and reproduce new sounds in the same way they did when they were younger, making foreign language acquisition not impossible, but more difficult.
- Language acquisition starts at a very early ages. In fact, the earlier you introduce your child to a foreign language the better. Some research indicate seems that before the age of 10 is ideal, or even before the age of five, if possible.
- Adults often struggle to learn a second language. During the sensitive period for language, however, children can absorb not only one, but two, languages.
It is never too early to begin thinking about the education of your children. In a time when more and more people are bilingual, finding a preschool that provides an early introduction to any language, especially Spanish, can serve as a real advantage.