Why Bilingual Education Matters
Healthy brain — A multilingual student gets a good cognitive workout, which stimulates brain development in ways monolingual children may never experience.
Cognitive elasticity — A multilingual mind is highly ﬂexible and is proven to have greater abilities in task-switching (a great skill to have in daily life!).
Advanced problem-solving — Knowing more than one language promotes stronger critical thinking and a higher aptitude for complex problem-solving and mathematical abilities.
Heightened social awareness — It is proven that multilingual students resolve conﬂicts more easily, display higher empathy towards others, and develop a heightened ability to read both verbal and non-verbal social cues.
It is widely known that “the earlier the better” is true when it comes to learning a second language. It is important to recognize that while learning in a bilingual student sometimes plateaus or that one language develops more slowly, the student does not experience “brain overload.” Those are symptoms of ﬁguring it all out. Yes, code-switching (language mixing) may occur, but incremental growth spurts are typical, even for a monolingual student. We understand that every learner’s path is different, and it’s our job to provide individual support that optimizes each student’s academic experience.
The “Linguistic Interdependence Hypothesis,” developed by the Canadian professor Jim Cummins, describes the “dual iceberg” of language learning. The languages share a base: they come from the same place in the brain, which explains why bilinguals acquire an additional language more easily.