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Bilingual nursery..... why not????(13 Posts)
Research shows that under fives learn languages at a quicker pace than any time thereafter.
Assuming all other things are equal, why wouldn't you send your child to a bilingual nursery over an English one?
Very common in Ireland even though we're an English-speaking country too. Lots of Irish toddlers are learning montessori etc through Irish.
I personally didn't bother as I wasn't that motivated but I do believe it helps learn other languages. A word that you already have in a second language makes a stronger, easier 'peg' on which to hang that same word in a third language. That's how it was explained to me by a speech therapist anyway.
Unless you continued eg French intensively once they start school, then it's a waste of time. Children are like sponges and absorb like crazy - but squeeze the sponge and it all comes out.
If a child has cousins abroad and visits every summer, or you have family friends who speak the language of the nursery and can practise on playdates then that's great.
It’s true they pick it up quickly, but they also lose it quickly if you don’t keep it up. My dc are bilingual because they’ve always been educated in French schools (in fact I was at a parents evening last night where dd’s teacher was astonished to learn we only speak English at home). Both dcs also spoke fluent German when we lived in Berlin - in fact ds spoke German before he spoke French because he spent a year with a German childminder before starting school. Once we left Germany they very quickly lost their German - though both are learning again now and dd in particular, who was seven when we left, is finding it is coming back. Bilingualism is easy in a way - easy for kids to pick up languages when they are tiny - but hard work to maintain. They only do it because they have to not because they think it’s fun or in any way clever. We know families where kids only speak English even where there is a French parent (and vice versa) because they know the other parent understands the other language and the parents haven’t enforced it. In fact we have done what the OP suggests and it has worked - dd is about to do her French Bac - but nursery is just the start, you have to keep at it and that’s not always so easy.
Sounds great in theory but there's none in my county except Polish and Latvian(?) nurseries. Just out of curiosity the nearest nursery that teaches Spanish is over an hour away (near London), and that only looks like the basics i.e asking what drinks the kids want, greetings and learning to count. I only have a GCSE in Spanish but my kids can already do that and didn't take much for them to learn (we also watch youtube and tv in Spanish).
I'd love for all nurseries to be bilingual but there's not the staff for it.
I don't think it's ever a waste of time to let them learn another language - especially in a nursery. They will just pick it up as they go along, it won't be at the expense of anything else, it won't be time wasted on languages when they could have been doing something else. It's good for your brain, even in the short term surely?
DS goes to nursery in French - we live abroad.
I speak English to him exclusively.
He's completely bilingual at 4 years old.
There are kids there that speak four languages already - English, French, Spanish and Arabic.
I thought DS was impressive
If they can't use it in their every day life and beyond nursery then it's pointless.
Ita absolutely not pointless. There are lots of people here who are either misinformed, or have done no research.
There are a lot of cognitive benefits to learning a second language at a young age, including prevention of dementia. Even if the language is later lost through lack of practice, there is significant research to show it is later picked up again much quicker. It also need not be lost.
Our local Welsh language nursery is popular. Such a useful language
Even if the language is later lost through lack of practice, there is significant research to show it is later picked up again much quicker. Very true - that’s definitely been the case with my kids.
We're sending ours to Welsh schools. Many government jobs here give priority to Welsh speakers and I studied languages at university so it makes sense to me. My only concern is out inability to help the children with homework, school plays etc. but most Welsh schools in south Wales have help in place as it's not a first language. I would love to have European bilingual schools available in my area though.
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