Dual Language Programs
What are the benefits of participating in a Dual Language program?
Bilingualism leads to important cognitive development.
Learning more than one language early in life strengthens children’s executive function skills (e.g., attention and effective multitasking, inhibitory control), metacognition (i.e., reflection on thought processes), learning capacity (for other languages, as well as other concepts and skills), and the ability to understand other perspectives. These effects are lifelong. Some research also suggests that bilingualism delays the onset of dementia.
Bilingualism produces social and cultural competence.
Being bilingual helps children interact seamlessly with a wider range of people, as language ability grants unique access to cultural fluency. Thus, children can be “citizens of the world” who are more understanding and tolerant of other perspectives. On a more intimate level, they can also maintain stronger family and community ties, which are crucial to healthy development.
Bilingualism can lead to economic benefits.
Experts emphasize that there are important and wide-ranging economic benefits to bilingualism. People who are bilingual are in higher demand on the job market, and not only for their language skills; bilingual people often have stronger interpersonal and self-regulation skills, which are needed in the workplace.
Bilingualism leads to high academic achievement in two languages.
Overwhelming data continues to point to Dual Language Immersions as the most effective instructional model to close the achievement gap for English learners and English speakers based on long-term standardized assessments. More English does not mean better results in English reading or writing, for either native English Speakers and native Spanish Speakers. Test results show that most dual language schools outperform other demographically similar schools, in the state and local school district.