Lyceum Kennedy: Benefits of a Bilingual Preschool Education
Recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau reveals that nearly 48% of New York City residents speak a language other than English. To broaden that scope, more than 20% of the U.S. population over the age of five years old speak a language other than English at home – a statistic that continues to grow each year.
In our increasingly globalized world, the benefits of multilingualism cannot be overlooked. If you are considering a bilingual education for your child, here are a few reasons why starting in preschool may yield long-lasting positive effects:
- Enhances cognitive development: The benefits of early bilingualism in young children have long been studied by linguistic experts. Most notably, research shows that bilingual children often have more advanced executive function abilities, which may include skills such as self-control and a deeper awareness of their language usage. As students learn foundational academic concepts in two languages, their knowledge of a topic learned in one language transfers to the other, making for a more comprehensive understanding of various subjects while building critical thinking skills from an early age.
- Appreciation and respect for diversity of culture: When students begin their education in an environment where diversity of language, culture and ethnicity is present and celebrated by the school community, they will be more likely to develop a strong sense of appreciation and respect for individuals that may differ from them in a variety of ways. In addition to fostering core values of respect and compassion for others, attending school in a multicultural space may help spark a natural curiosity and desire to continue learning about other cultures and people’s background experiences throughout the rest of their lives.
- Enriched educational experience: At the Lyceum Kennedy French American School, our Preschool program provides children with a unique experience that encourages students to create, learn and explore the world around them through a bilingual, multicultural lens. Our curriculum follows the complete program from the French Ministry of Education and the New York State Education Department, creating a harmonized approach to teaching the core subjects. Every class in nursery, pre-K and Kindergarten is taught by 2 early childhood experts; one native French speaker and one native English speaker, as well as a bilingual assistant. Children in our preschool programs spend 50% of their time immersed in French and 50% of their time immersed in English (2.5 days in French and 2.5 days in English) to achieve a balanced linguistic experience.
To learn more about Lyceum Kennedy’s bilingual preschool programs, join us at an In-Person Open House on Saturday, November 5th from 10am-12pm. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about our curriculum, meet our teachers and staff and visit our classrooms. Register today!