Immersion in second language helps students be more successful

I owe my bilingualism to the education I got back home in Peru in a dual language immersion school. While my parents' first language is Spanish, they're both bilingual and they wanted to make sure we grew up speaking Spanish and English as well. So my sister and I were sent to a school were we were taught some of our subjects in Spanish and the rest all in English. I'm convinced that being immersed in a second language is what allowed me to excel as a student both back home and once I moved to the United States as a teenager.

Why American public schools fail to see the huge benefits of bilingualism is something I'll never understand. 

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The most important fact to consider is that learning a second language doesn't only help make a student more successful because being bilingual opens more professional doors, but also because it's been proven that bilingual children excel in other areas, including math and first language literacy. 

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Raising bilingual kids is much easier if you do it this way

As the co-author of a book titled Bilingual is Better and the parent of two children whom my husband and I are raising bilingual, I've done my share of research to know that speaking more than one language is one of the best gifts we can give our children. Sadly, to make sure my children grow up with the same education I did, I would have to send them to a private school that I cannot afford because dual language immersion programs are limited in Colorado.

However, others schools in the rest of the nation are starting to realize the benefits of bilingualism and in unexpected states like Utah, for example, children are successfully being raised bilingual using this method. I can only hope that other states start following their lead.

Image via woodleywonderworks/flickr

Topics: education  raising bilingual kids  on parenting