Preparing Your Child Today for the Bilingual World of TomorrowBrooks
Mid-February, an interesting thing happened: The New York Times launched a Spanish version of its existing website. While the website will be based out of Mexico City, the majority of its readership will likely be U.S. residents. Today, the U.S. has one of the largest populations of Spanish-speaking residents — ranking only behind Mexico.
This launch may have flown under the radar of many news outlets, but it represents a larger shift occurring in the U.S.. The country is becoming increasingly bilingual, and young children now benefit from dual language exposure that will help them secure jobs as adults.
The Importance of Spanish for Preschoolers
Up until age eight, children’s brains are geared toward learning language through repetition, imitation, games, and songs. This period of early development is critical for laying the groundwork for language skills. After age eight, children lose the ability to process and imitate new sounds they once had. It won’t be impossible to learn a language, but it will be much harder.
Preschool Spanish Lessons are Engaging and Fun
Because children at this age are so receptive to language, it’s easy to engage them through a wide variety of activities and discussions. A complete curriculum that uses Spanish story books, music lessons, and more to foster language learning is ideal, as opposed to a single period each day where children are encouraged to practice rote memorization — a tactic frequently employed in middle school and high school lessons. Preschool Spanish lessons ensure that children get hands on experience with language in a natural and immersive way.
Prepare Now for Better Chances Tomorrow
It’s not a matter of “if” your child will encounter Spanish as an adult, it’s a matter of “how often.” Anyone job searching today, especially in cities with larger Hispanic populations, will notice that candidates with fluency in Spanish are often preferred. Being bilingual will give any child more options in the future, and statistics indicate that bilingual employees typically earn 20% more than their monolingual colleagues.
A preschool Spanish curriculum is a good investment for any parent looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities tomorrow brings.