There are many benefits for children who learn more than one language. Bilingual students are exposed to different perspectives, ideas and cultures. A second language can offer a child new opportunities for self-expression. For students who speak a different language at home than the primary language spoken at their school, bilingual education can be a source for increased self-esteem. In the long term, speaking more than one language may mitigate the effects, or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Despite the advantages of bilingual education, some parents and others have expressed concerns about children learning more than one language at the same time. Parents may worry that students will be confused about which language they are speaking, or that their vocabulary will suffer because they are learning twice as many words. In a recent article published in Early Childhood News, McGill University Psychology professor Fred Genesee addressed many of these concerns. At FasTracKids, we agree with Professor Genesee that there are many benefits associated with bilingual education, and we believe they far outweigh any concerns.
FasTracKids provides a space for bilingual education through the FasTrack English program. This program keeps children engaged in learning English with cooperative games, interactive songs, situational conversation, and relevant vocabulary. The English language is placed in a natural context within stories, as well as broken down into phonics.
The second year of FasTrack English has recently been finalized and features new games, stories, and songs. As in year one, students learn correct pronunciation from native speakers. In several countries throughout the world, FasTracKids are having fun becoming bilingual with no ill effects!