"After 3.5 years and many weekly classes, I have never had to coax my daughter to go to Spanish class. She skips into that building as if she is going to the park with her friends."
Ever walk into a library, look around, and think, “Wow, even if I start reading today, I may never get to finish?” Well, reading all the articles on dual language learning is daunting like that. More and more research is being done and becoming available on foreign language immersion, early language learning, dual language education, and our expanding global community – most of which reference or provide evidence supporting that kids who start second language learning early will have an edge on their peers.
At Yak Academy, we take full advantage of the early years to put your child on the path to language and cultural proficiency. We take pride in staying on top of research and teaming with experts in early childhood development and foreign language acquisition to ensure the best experiences and outcomes for your kids.
You don’t have to take our word for it though. Read on to see what the experts are saying about:
The importance of "starting early" has been widely reported by a number of articles and major publications:
"Research has shown that young children have a virtually limitless capacity to learn languages. Children need real, interactive experiences, not virtual ones, for brain development and academic success. New studies on brain development indicate that early exposure to more than one language builds a more powerful brain, with faster and more efficient synaptic connections." – Newsweek, "Your Baby's Brain", April 2003
“When children continue to develop their abilities in two or more languages throughout their primary school years, they gain a deeper understanding of language and how to use it effectively. More than 150 research studies conducted during the past 35 years strongly support what Goethe, the German philosopher, once said: The person who knows only one language does not truly know that language. The research suggests that bilingual children may also develop more flexibility in their thinking as a result of processing information through two different languages.” -Dr. Jim Cummins, "Bilingual Children’s Mother Tongue: Why is it Important for Education?", 2003
"Learning a second language enhances a child's awareness of her primary one. And the similarities and differences between the languages help her understand the sounds, the words, and the rules for putting sentences together." – Parents Magazine, "The Best Baby Classes", December 2004
The importance and benefits of foreign language immersion have been gaining attention in recent years in a number of articles and major publications:
“To help your child absorb a second language, make sure they are immersed in it -- occasional chatter isn't enough. Singing songs and reading books in both tongues can be fun, too. But while bilingual toys, books, DVDs, and CDs may help your child's ear grow familiar with your language, nothing will lead them to become fluent like the sound of voices.” – Parenting Magazine, "Raising a Bilingual Child", April 2009
According to Myelita Melton, CEO of SpeakEasy Communications, Inc, and author of the SpeakEasy Spanish™ series: “Enrolling your child in an immersion preschool or daycare can be more advantageous to your child’s foreign language development than a program that offers a foreign language as a subject. Children in total immersion programs work toward total fluency in the foreign language. They are more likely to “think” and function naturally in the language. Normally, they are able to achieve an extremely high level of overall competency, and they hold speakers of that language in high regard. In addition, their skills in English flourish.” - Suite101.com, "Full Immersion Preschools: Benefits of Full Foreign Language Immersion Programs in Daycare", February 2008
“When the second language is all a child hears during class time, there are simply more chances for him to learn it.” -Child Magazine, "Bilingual Babies, What to Look for in a Language Class", November 2005
“Certainly immersion programs come the closest to providing students, young or old, with the intensive language experience they need to become proficient…it's the next best thing to study abroad. Not everyone has the means to study or live abroad, but immersion programs can do a lot to bring the language and culture to them. There are some excellent models in place in certain areas of the country. Every child deserves the chance to become a citizen of the world in such a rich experience.” -ACTFL, "Cognitive Benefits of Learning Language", Fall 2007
Play-based education has been gaining attention in recent years in a number of articles and major publications:
“Play is monumentally important to all aspects of child development -- it's how children of all ages learn.” —American Baby Magazine, "What Your Child Learns From Play", August 2008
“Play is not a luxury, but rather a crucial dynamic of healthy, physical, intellectual, social, and emotional development at all ages.” —David Elkind, child development expert, Tufts University, 2007
“Children learn best through real-life experience and human interaction. Real learning comes through exploration, testing things out, seeing what works, and trying again. Play-based preschools allow children to learn about their world using all five senses. While their activities may look unimportant to an outside observer, they’re actually developing math, science, and analytical skills when they construct block towers, pour water in containers of different sizes, and create designs on paper from stamps made of sponges." - Dr. Patricia Nan Anderson, educational psychologist and author of Parenting: A Field Guide, 2009
“Experienced teachers who know the promise of play from both their study of child development theory and their observations of children learning in the classroom are finding that they may have to advocate for one of the once unquestioned rituals of early childhood--children learning at their own individual pace through the natural process of play.” —ERIC (Department of Education, Education Resources Information Center), 2004
Great Articles on Early Language Learning:
Read on to learn more about Why World Language: