What are the benefits when my child learns a second language?
The Center for Applied Linguistics states that "learning a second language at an early age enriches and enhances a child's mental development, leaves students with more sensitivity to language, a better ear for listening, opens the door to other cultures and helps the child understand and appreciate people from other countries". More resources.
Is my child ready to learn through Spanish immersion?
Yes. By age three children have already learned the basic rules of their first language, and this helps them learn a second language.
How do children learn?
Children learn by listening, seeing, imitating, and practicing. Dressing up, "selling ice cream", "fixing lunch", "building towers", "taking care of babies", playing with magnets or cars are activities through which the children acquire Spanish and learn important social skills like sharing, cooperative play and resolving conflict.
How long will it take for my child to become fluent?
When children enter an environment where a second language is spoken, it takes approximately three months for them to begin to understand the second language, about two years to be able to carry on a conversation and five to seven years to be able to think in the second language.
What else will my child learn through Spanish immersion?
In addition to learning a second language, children acquire cognitive and social skills appropriate to their age. Amiguitos! encourages students to function independently by selecting self-directed activities, but we also recognize the need for children to learn how to function in group and teacher-directed activities. Children learn self-confidence at Amiguitos!
How can I help my child at home if I don't speak Spanish?
The more Spanish the children hear and practice the better they become at learning Spanish. If the children can hear language in a context that is familiar to them, they learn faster because the input is comprehensible. That is why Amiguitos! offers videos in Spanish that you can take home. We have Thursday and Friday check out times. In addition, there are three books with CDs. Some of the parents started a Video Review Notebook so you can read their reviews. I encourage you to help us continue this effort. Public libraries have books, tapes, and reading programs in Spanish and you can find flash cards, games and books in Spanish at the Learning Palace, Powell's and Barnes & Noble.
Once you have learned some of the basic vocabulary write the words on sticky notes and place them by their objects throughout your home. Say the name of the object when that object is being used or spoken about.
For any other ideas or questions please feel free to contact us.