Raising Bilingual Children
Bilingualism is a gift. When it comes to a child’s intellectual, social, and emotional development, the ability to communicate in two languages has a profound and lasting effect. Language is a system of thought; there are some feeling states or cultural phenomena that can only be articulated in the French language, while there are others that can only be described in English. This is, of course, true across all languages. Not only are there different words across the world’s languages, but also different gestures, intonations, and expressions. Truly bilingual and bi-cultural individuals not only change the words they use, but also their body language. They morph into slightly different people, with slightly altered ways of seeing the world.
Language and culture are inextricably linked, as are bilingualism and bi-culturalism. Being able to consider diverse viewpoints, to see multiple solutions to the same problem, and to put oneself in another’s shoes are natural outcomes of the bilingual mind. These abilities lead to stronger analytical reasoning, enlightened thinking, and a deep sense of empathy and emotional intelligence. Bilingualism could solve all of the world’s problems! A multilingual & multicultural society is a forward thinking, innovative, inclusive, and peaceful one.
One of the most important aspects of becoming truly bilingual is to begin at an early age, when the mind is in its most absorbent and malleable stage. Introduction to other languages within the first six months of life has a significant effect on a child’s ability to master multiple languages down the road. Raising a child in New York City provides countless opportunities for exposure to different languages, cultures, and ways of seeing the world. We are proud to be one of many amazing resources that provide structure to these formative experiences to our littlest thinkers who will one day shape the future of our world!
Smith Street Workshop is a unique and comprehensive learning center in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. We offer classes and academic enrichment to children from infancy through adolescence. In 2017, we will be opening a French Immersion Preschool in Carroll Gardens, and are accepting applications now! For more information, visit http://www.smithstreetworkshop.com/smith-street-preschool/