Immersion

Two Languages are Better than One

Our world has changed dramatically in the last few decades

and is moving closer to becoming fully interconnected. Succeeding for our children will require new ways of thinking, strong language skills and an open mind. Learning another language is a step toward joining the global community. More than half of the world’s population is bilingual, making mastering a second language a new way of interacting with the world.

Research shows students who are fluent in multiple languages consistently outperform their peers on standard language and academic achievement tests. Furthermore, students who master more than one language also develop better cognitive skills, including enhanced creativity, adaptability, analytical skills and multi-tasking abilities. Bilingual students show a willingness and ability to learn a third language. Attending class in a diverse cultural and socioeconomic environment has been shown to positively affect relationships, attitudes and behaviors.

In addition to being a valuable résumé builder and competitive advantage when in competition for universities and jobs, recent research states that bilingualism may also improve early brain development and improve the ability to focus in distracting environments, decide between competing alternatives and disregard irrelevant information.

Some website resources regarding French Immersion Schools and Research on the subject:

Le Ministère Français de l’Education Nationale/The French Ministry of National Education

Association of French Schools in North America (AFSA)

Agence pour l’Enseignement Français à l’Etranger (AEFE) / Agency for French Education Abroad) www.aefe.fr

Réseau des Ecoles à Programme Français en Amérique du Nord / French Schools in North America

Multilingual Children’s Association

Articles:

“Why Bilinguals Are Smarter” – The New York Times

“The Bilingual Advantage”- The New York Times

“Being Bilingual May Boost Your Brain Power” – National Public Radio/NPR

“Bilingualism Good for the Brain, Reasearchers Say” – Los Angeles Times

“Why It’s Smart to Be Bilingual” – The Daily Beast

“Learning Languages ‘Boosts Brain'” – BBC News