According to the National Association for Bilingual Education, Texas leads the nation in the number of schools — about 700 — using dual-language immersion programs at the elementary level.
Giving young children and school-aged students the opportunity to study in a dual language or complete language immersion program is not a tough decision in today’s globally expanding world. The tough decision is which school in the greater Dallas area to turn to! From Spanish, German, French, Mandarin – they’re all offered here- and not just during the preschool years! Here are the top SIX reasons to consider sending your child to a dual language or immersion in a second language program in the greater Dallas area:
BILINGUAL STUDENTS WILL LEARN ENGLISH BETTER. Goethe said “Those who know no foreign language know nothing of their mother tongue”. If you are someone who thinks English is the most important language of the future – studying another language is a way to truly learn your own native tongue. Research shows that children who study a foreign language see their own language through new eyes. They understand syntax and vocabulary more clearly and can actually do better on English tests than their peers!
BILINGUAL STUDENTS HEAR BETTER IN LOUD ENVIRONMENTS. According to a study at Northwestern University, bilingual students display better auditory attention in environments with lots of background noise. (My noisy house with three kids, perhaps!). “Bilinguals are natural jugglers,” says Dr. Viorica Marian, one of the study’s authors. “They juggle linguistic input, and, it appears, automatically pay greater attention to relevant versus irrelevant sounds”.
BILINGUAL STUDENTS ARE CREATIVE THINKERS. Numerous studies have shown that working in a foreign language makes us more creative and better problem solvers than our mono-linguistic peers. Bilingual students are great at divergent thinking tasks. Jared Diamond, professor at UCLA explains, “Monolinguals have more difficulty than bilinguals at accomodating to a switch in rules”. This makes for more flexible and creative thinking.
BILINGUAL STUDENTS MAY PROTECT THEIR BRAINS. All other things equal, bilinguals are shown to acquire Alzheimer’s later than monolinguals. Diamond continues— “Bilinguals impose extra exercise on their brain every minute of their waking hours. Consciously or unconsciously, the bilingual brain constantly has to decide: Shall I think, speak, or interpret sounds spoken to me according to the arbitrary rules of language A or language B?”. This appears to be neuro-beneficial to memory and response in old age as well.
BILINGUAL STUDENTS IMPROVE EXECUTIVE FUNCTION. Like the equivalent of two software prorams running at the same time in the brain, Executive Functions (EF) such as planning, working memory, attention, and control are heightened. These skills tend to transfer across domains and increase brain function!
BILINGUAL STUDENTS ARE FLEXIBLE. Even as English becomes a more common business language, the need for native English speakers to acquire a second language is ever-important. The US State department offers multiple programs to help everyone from high school students to officers in the military learn what it calls “Critical Languages”. We are a globally interdependent world which thrives on multilingualism. Not just for travel- but to experience another culture through a foreign language made familiar.
Listed by language, here are Dallas area’s second-language private schools with a link included to DISD’s dual language programs below!
Address: 1111 International Parkway, Richardson, Texas 75081
Ages: 18 months – Kindergarten
Address: 534 W Belt Line Road, Richardson, TX 75080
Ages: 2 years 9 months – Kindergarten
Click here for the Tzu Chi contact form
Address: 903 W. Parker Road, Plano, TX 75023
Ages: 18 months – 5 years
Address: 6039 Churchill Way, Dallas, TX 75230
Ages: 2 – High School
Address: 12411 Templeton Trail Farmers Branch, TX 75234
Ages: 18 Months – 5 years old, Kindergarten and First Grade 2017-18, Elementary through 4th grade planned 2018 and beyond.
Name: Spanish House
Address: Two locations in Dallas, east of Central Expressway/75
Ages: 3 months – Elementary
Name: Spanish Schoolhouse
Address: Multiple Locations all over the Metroplex
Ages: 2 years – Kindergarten
Address: 252 S Elm St, Keller, TX 76248
Ages: 2 years – Kindergarten
Addres: Greater Dallas ISD region public schools
Ages: PreK – Highschool
There are so many choices out there! And many schools don’t require any previous second language experience in the home. Give your children the gift of a second language as well as numerous other academic, social, and developmental advantages while watching them thrive in their new environments!
*Disclaimer: My sons currently attend and my daughter will be soon attending one of the schools above- but no matter which one you choose- the opportunity for dual language study is one not to be missed!
For even more, be sure to checkout our Bilingual School Guide!