With 387 million native speakers, Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world, ahead of English, according to census reports. It is the official language of 21 countries worldwide, and these include some of the most exciting and rewarding destinations in the world. Spanish is thus the key that opens the door to a large part of the globe, and with it many opportunities. A preschool Spanish curriculum can help children learn the language quickly and easily, at the age when children are most apt to learn second and even third languages.
Preschoolers are “hard-wired” to learn languages
Preschool Spanish lessons can be very effective. Linguists have shown that foreign language acquisition skills are highly developed in very young children, and that children should be introduced to a foreign language as early as possible. This should be done ideally before they reach 8 years of age, though even earlier, before 5 years of age is better.
Up to the age of 8 years, children acquire foreign language skills naturally, primarily through copying and repeating the sounds they hear, games and songs. For the first six years of their lives, children have the natural capacity to acquire new languages. At this critical age they can easily and naturally learn to pronounce foreign sounds and words, and absorb new grammatical rules and structures.
Give your kids the preschool Spanish curriculum advantage
At a slightly older age, between 8 and 12, it becomes harder, though not impossible, for children to learn a foreign language. They gradually lose the ability to hear and reproduce new sounds, which they had when they were younger. Reach also shows that children who speak two languages find it easier to learn a third.
An elementary school Spanish curriculum builds on the natural ability of young children to learn foreign languages. A preschool Spanish curriculum for kids includes Spanish story books, lessons, music, games and puzzles.
A second language is a workplace advantage. Research shows that on average, bilingual employees earn 20% more per hour than those who speak only one language. Yet the United States lags behind the rest of the world in encouraging children to learn second or even third languages. More than two-thirds of the world’s children are bilingual, according to reports from the Summer Institute of Linguistics. In the US, however, less than a fifth – only 17% – of the population speaks a second language.