Spanish from 0 to 6 years old
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF LEARNING A SECOND LANGUAGE FROM AN EARLY AGE?
Studying foreign languages has been shown to produce a positive effect on mental development. Bilinguals use more brain areas in a linguistic task, especially on the left side of the brain (language related), and have more neural connections than monolinguals.
Beginning to listen and understand a second language from an early age helps to program the brain´s circuitry to make learning languages easier in the future. It has been proved that children are born with the neurological ability to learn any language, but they only assimilate and reproduce the sounds that they usually heard in the early stages of life.
Recent studies in neuroscience have show that bilinguals, through their ability to switch between languages, develop superior multi-tasking skills. Thus, children who are in contact with multiple languages better develop critical thinking abilities.
Likewise, learning a foreign language exposes children to other cultures. This access to diversity promotes a more flexible mind and stimulates the capacity for intellectual development, fostering interest and acceptance of different lifestyles.
HOW DO YOUNG CHILDREN LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE?
Children have access to a new language the same way they do their mother tongue: they start by listening, understanding and later speaking. Only when they have managed to listen, understand and express, will they begin the process of reading and writing.
Listening: Is the first contact of the baby with the mother tongue. The baby becomes familiar with the music, rhythm and sounds of the language.
Understanding: After hearing the same combinations of words at different times and contexts, child comes to understand the meaning of everything they hear, not only words but common communication structures, such as greetings and requests.
Speaking: Children learn to speak after hearing many words and phrases, and only after having practiced the sounds and understanding their meanings will they begin to produce the languge orally.
Reading and writing: Only when the child has managed to express themselves with confidence orally will they begin to express interest in reading and in writing.
In our program we respect this natural development. We start by offering an important sound contact that will allow children, and even babies, to become familiar with the music and sounds of Spanish.
We will use the language as it is, and we will treat our young students as potential native Spanish speakers, so they will begin to understand words and phrases in context. We are convinced that they should not be forced to speak in a foreign language, and most importantly they should listen and become gradually familiar with the language, slowly and unhurriedly.
Talking is a natural consequence of listening and understanding, therefore after the children have heard and understood we will create situations that encourage verbalizing everything they have learned in context.
Finally, with older children, we will introduce literacy through activities that promote their interest in reading and writing in Spanish.
BABY PROGRAM (from 0 to 2 years old)
The language acquisition process begins long before the child begins to speak. Therefore, in this special program we suggest that children begin to assimilate to the new language from the early months of life.
The meetings are conducted at home as it is a familiar and safe environment for children where they can learn with ease and autonomy. We will work listening and understanding through games, songs and special resources for these ages.
This program also provides information and advice for parents to continue along with their child´s learning.
YOUNG CHILDREN PROGRAM (from 3 to 6 years old)
The 4 stages of language acquisition (listening, understanding, speaking, reading and writing ) will be gradually taken on.
The meetings are held at home in small groups or one-on-one classes.
We know that children learn through play so we offer a variety of fun activities appropriate to each level that will encourage interest, enjoyment and desire to learn a new language.