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Bilingual Education

Parents around the world have one thing in common: they want the best of everything for their children. It's not only something that preoccupies their minds daily, it is something that becomes a necessary and logical life-long mission. Their drive to help pave the way for their kids to have the most positive experience they possibly could have in life, is what any loving and responsible mother or father would do. It's human nature…but it's also a herculean task.

How does someone tackle this enormous undertaking? What fundamental topics should any parent consider initially? How can someone prepare and educate their child to become a successful, happy and well-adjusted adult? The basics start with good parenting, excellent schools and at least two languages…and the key is to start language learning early! Why not enroll your child in an international bilingual school?

When toddlers (even babies) start their lives, they are like sponges swimming in an ocean of visual, tangible, olfactory and aural stimuli. What they absorb during this time matters and makes a solid imprint on their vulnerable little lives. This period is a paramount building block of what is to become of them, how they will behave and how they will communicate and interact with others. It it a certainty that language will affect their futures considerably. What should one allow them to be exposed to? Bilingualism, at the least.

Benefits For Bilingual Children
In France, French will obviously be the key language as the mother tongue but in today's world where most business is conducted in English and knowing English has clear benefits, why not expose your child to a bilingual education of French and English? Learning at least two languages for toddlers comes naturally and with the utmost amount of ease. A bilingual education at an international preschool in Paris, for example--one like the Bilingual International School of Paris, also known as BISP, would be an enormous advantage. Let's specify how bilingual education is key to future personal achievement:

    ◦    Brain Power - When the brain negotiates cross-lingually, it not only has the ability to master each language but it also keeps the languages separate, which  demonstrates a high level of flexibility, focus and cognitive control. It's been noted in studies that bilingual children are adept at learning abstract rules and demonstrate elevated self-control. They are also able to tune out unimportant information.
    ◦    Opportunities Abound and Go Deeper - People who speak several languages have the ability to communicate with others from different countries in various environments, which would not be possible if only one language is spoken.
    ◦    Appreciation of Cultural References - Many experts contend that films, songs, literature and art can be truly understood and appreciated in their original languages. Oftentimes non-speakers get lost in translation.
    ◦    Other Language Acquisition Comes Easy - Once people master two languages at an early age, it seems to boost their learning ability to acquire other languages with less struggle than when monolingual people attempt to learn new languages as adults.
    ◦    Decreased Human Bias - Studies have indicated that second languages reduces human biases due to more reflection on thought processes.

These are just some examples of the benefits of bilingualism. The key is to start kids early in a bilingual preschool (like BISP for example), all the way up to and beyond their teen years (bilingual kindergarten, primary, etc.). Ultimately, parents must decide if this will be something they want for their children, however, there seems to be little, if any, disadvantages!


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