***LATISM is honored to have “Benefits of Dual Language Programs” as our post of the day, written by our #LATISM member, Linda Stone. Engaging and educational this post invites you to learn and also to join the conversation***
Increasing numbers of families in the United States are embracing dual language programs, an education model in which children are taught academy content in two languages at the same time. In the past few years, these programs have multiplied in California, New York, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Washington and Illinois. Here are four reasons why more American children should have access to them.
Bilingualism opens doors and provides you with significant career advantages, both in terms of salary and employability. Knowing a second language expands your horizons and opportunities to serve and grow.
Earlier bilingualism leads to more pronounced health benefits. People who speak two languages have shown to slow the effects of natura
l aging and have better executive function tasks. Bilingualism also has proved to delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer.
Since culture and language are greatly intertwined, a dual language program setting exposes children to new cultures and help them to understand better how a particular social group sees the world. With a growing diversity in the U.S, it is imperative that American children develop skills that enable them to connect and interact effectively with others who may come from a different background.
Speaking two languages fluently is not only a means of communication but more importantly, it functions as a way to build bridges of understanding between two cultures. Children that are exposed to a new language are not only given an advantage of better opportunities to excel in a competitive and multilingual world but to also embrace its multiculturalism. In a period where our country is divided with hate speech, it is so important for the new generations to learn about mutual tolerance and respect.
Dual Language Programs provide cognitive, health and social benefits. Our country will benefit tremendously if more children have access to it. The main question is: how can we make it happen?
ABOUT LINDA STONE
Linda is a bilingual writer, social media influencer and advocate. Her blog, Hispanic Mama, serves as a platform for Latina moms raising bilingual and multicultural children while trying to preserve their heritage. She works for her local government’s cultural enrichment program which celebrates the multicultural richness of the city where she lives. Linda holds a Masters in HR Management. Linda and her family live in North Carolina. She can be reached at her Twitter handle:@hispanicmama1 or via her Facebook page: www.facebook.com/hispanicmama