Understanding languages and other cultures builds bridges. It is the fastest way to bring the world closer together.
Numerous studies on bilingualism have shown that children at a young age tend to acquire additional languages with the same ease as which they acquire their native language. Developing languages simultaneously does not inhibit the learning of either, but rather leads to improved communicative abilities in one's own native language.
How is a bilingual education beneficial for your child?
Below are just a few research-based highlights:
- Increased cognitive development and creative processes
- Better academic achievement
- Increased awareness and appreciation of other cultures
- Improved executive brain function (planning, problem solving, self-control, etc.)
- Increased opportunities in future career development
Learning another language is not only learning different words for the same things, but learning another way to think about things.
Early Language Immersion Method
MIS develops our students' bilingual potential through Early Language Immersion methods. Learning by immersion means that the child is immersed in a "language bath" - in this case English and German. They hear, speak and learn these languages in authentic everyday activities and experience this in their familiar surroundings. Therefore they learn the new language as naturally as their mother tongue, without any pressure or vocabulary stress.
The immersion method places emphasis on facial expressions and gestures, and one-face one-language (meaning speak to individuals in their native language as much as you can.) As receptive skills increase and reading and listening comprehension improves, children gradually absorb the new language into everyday use.
At MIS, all core classes are taught in English, such as math, sciences, social studies and history.
The Benefits of Language Immersion and Bi/Trilingualism
MIS is passionate about creating global citizens of tomorrow. Multilingual children of today will have more opportunities and increased understanding of other cultures and languages in a global society and economy, and where today two languages are useful, tomorrow they will be required.
Based on brain development research, the optimal time to learn languages is prior to age 11. Our brains are wired at birth to produce all sounds, but if we don't learn to make certain sounds by age 11, we can lose that ability. Children learn language by listening and repeating, and don't have any fear of a "foreign" language. Children learn their second language the same way they learned their first - by speaking and repeating in context.
Are you wanting more data on the benefits of bilingualism? There are many published articles out there will a lot of useful information on this subject. Below are just a few highlights we've found.
“There’s a system in your brain, the executive control system. It’s a general manager. Its job is to keep you focused on what is relevant, while ignoring distractions. It’s what makes it possible for you to hold two different things in your mind at one time and switch between them.
Multitasking is one of the things the executive control system handles. We wondered, “Are bilinguals better at multitasking?” So we put monolinguals and bilinguals into a driving simulator. Through headphones, we gave them extra tasks to do — as if they were driving and talking on cellphones. We then measured how much worse their driving got. Now, everybody’s driving got worse. But the bilinguals, their driving didn’t drop as much. Because adding on another task while trying to concentrate on a driving problem, that’s what bilingualism gives you.”
“Recent studies of children who grow up in bilingual settings reveal advantages over single language children, including both increased attentive focus and cognition. The findings correlate with prefrontal cortex brain activity networks, which direct the highest levels of thinking and awareness.
Compared to monolinguals, the studied bilingual children, who had had five to ten years of bilingual exposure, averaged higher scores in cognitive performance on tests and had greater attention focus, distraction resistance, decision-making, judgment and responsiveness to feedback. The correlated neuroimaging (fMRI scans) of these children revealed greater activity in the prefrontal cortex networks directing these and other executive functions. (Bialystok, 2009; Kaushanskaya & Marian, 2007)."
There are many articles about both the short and long term benefits of speaking multiple languages. If you are interested in learning more about our Language Academy for all ages, you can also find more information here.