Bilingual Education, not Immersion, is More Beneficial for Children
There is ample research to show that bilingualism gives children social, linguistic and cognitive advantages over their peers. Research also indicates that the advantages last well into old age. In other words, bilingualism acts as a kind of brain exercise, keeping the mind sharp well into late adulthood.
St. Mary’s Preschool has a balanced bilingual program and curriculum, Mandarin and English, focused heavily on proficient comprehension of the complexities of meaning and grammar. The students think more creatively than their monolingual peers and understand the subtle nuances of words. They also demonstrate a more highly developed ability to vary word usage based on the needs of the listener. Crucial to achieving this is ensuring that the two languages of instruction share the same system – alphabetic or pictorial, based on the Montessori philosophy.
St. Mary’s Preschool’s bilingual curriculum does more than refine children’s cognitive abilities. It makes them brainier. The brains of balanced bilingual children have been challenged by the acquisition of two languages to develop simultaneously multiple representations of items, resulting in superior cognitive skills to those of monolinguals. In addition to a natural ability to understand the concept of numbers earlier in age, extensive studies have shown that they are more highly skilled in visual problem solving and analytical tests.