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Forest Trail

"Research shows that children who know at least two languages have expanded capabilities with respect to all three of the main functions of language: communicating, thinking, and learning about one's culture"

1. Early childhood presents a unique opportunity for learning multiple languages. Young children's brains are programmed for learning language, and with the right environment, they will seem to absorb two languages simultaneously in the same way that they absorb one.

2. Learning more than one language has benefits that far exceed the ability to communicate in the second language. For example, studies show that kids read in their native language with superior proficiency to kids with a single language by the time they are in elementary school and continue to surpass single language kids for years.

3. Why not? Seriously, why not? Our kids can do it. They can benefit from it. And it's really exciting to see this happen. Most European children learn to speak at least two languages. This gives them cognitive advantages, opens the door to further linguistic exploration, and unlocks the culture of the second language in a way that advances serious understanding as well as epicurean adventure. 

"Enjoying iconic literature in the language in which it was written...poetry, of all the arts, demands to be read in the original language."

"I don't know if I would have understood my parents' culture as well if I had learned about it in English. I certainly would have been a spectator at the celebrations...Since I spoke the language, I was a participant."

Language Immersion 2023-2024

Our language immersion program for 2023-2024 is a 50/50 Spanish immersion program. We aim to maximize children's exposure to and education in the minority language (Spanish), while providing a two-way model that benefits children with both native English and native Spanish. 

 

Is my child ready for this program? Yes! The majority of students will have little or no Spanish. Spanish is widely spoken in the United States, it is a gateway to similar languages including Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian, and it's an entrance point to discovering the history, music, art, lifestyle, traditions and other elements of Spanish-speaking cultures. 

What is the benefit to Spanish-speaking students? Besides a sense of belonging to extended family and a sense of being at home in both cultures, Spanish education advances the goal of being an educated speaker in both of his/her languages. Spanish speakers in the U.S. live in an English-immersion world. A school program in Spanish offers a unique opportunity to focus on Spanish language development. Teachers will emphasize pre-literacy skills related to the goal of developing biliteracy: reading and writing in two languages. Children will have opportunities for socializing, singing, and story-telling to enhance their vocabulary, grammar, and elocution in Spanish. 

What is the benefit to a child speaking a language other than English or Spanish? If your child primarily speaks a language besides English or Spanish, please contact our director to discuss the possible benefits and challenges of adding a third language.

Will the language immersion program be outdoors? Yes! A major focus of our curriculum is "nature literacy," or exploring the art and science of the rocks, soils, water, weather, plants, insects and animals in our local environment. Expect your child to develop a rich nature vocabulary in Spanish. We will also utilize books, objects, and pictures to build a Spanish vocabulary around everyday objects and situations. 

Will you offer a regular outdoor preschool program in addition to the language immersion program? At this time, all students enrolling in the 2023-2024 school year will receive the benefit of a language immersion education. 

[Childhood bilinguals] acquire precocious knowledge about language, a capacity called "metalinguistic awareness," which is one of the foundational skills for learning how to read and write."

"In a multicultural society, bilingual children will be more socially aware--more open to other cultures and practices"

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