At Bright Beginnings Nursery we have always embraced the learning of languages.
Our children predominately speak English but our babies right up to our four-year-olds also learn Arabic and French daily. We also offer Arabic/English and French/English classes (currently only at our Mushrif Branch).
We have always taught our languages through immersion, relating what the children learn to the world around them and their everyday experiences. It is evident at our end of year concerts, how much the children learn within their Arabic and French activities (greetings, singing, counting and naming colours and objects in three different languages) and for them it is easy!
The best time to teach your child a second language is at the same time he or she is learning their first one. Children under three years of age are extremely curious about the world around them. They tackle most things with vigour and delight. Learning other languages is just another one of those interesting things for children to grasp with both hands. For them it becomes the ‘norm’ that they are learning more than one language – they just jump in and have fun doing it!
Most young children are risk takers who don’t mind if they get something wrong – they are happy to practice what they have learned and are not afraid to make mistakes. Learning a language affords wondrous opportunities for growth and development in young children and does not (as was once believed) cause linguistic delays or disorders. The brain automatically compartmentalises each language and young children have the ability to learn many languages without becoming confused. This is evident in our classrooms at Bright Beginnings Nursery, where the children immediately change their language to suit the teacher they are talking to.
Teaching young children foreign languages provides them with invaluable advantages. Studies have shown they have better success on test results and an increased choice in future careers. They also develop an appreciation for living in a diverse and multicultural world.
The earlier a language in introduced the easier it is for a child to mimic the unique sounds of the language through hearing people speaking it fluently. Young children are developing language skills rapidly and they quickly absorb what they hear. Research has shown that children who speak more than one language tend to be more creative thinkers and their brain functions may stay sharper as they age.