Benefits of Music and exposure to a Second Language in early education
Music plays a powerful role in the lives of young children. Through music, babies and toddlers can come to better understand themselves and their feelings, learn to solve problems, and discover the world around them. At the same time, learning a Second Language improves their cognitive and linguistic development.
Our program combines the benefits from music, meaningful play and exposure to a second language for babies and young children. Although they will not be proficient in Spanish by solely attending our classes, our program will serve as a solid base to introduce them to bilingualism and stimulate their brain development by active music participation.
Benefits of Music for children
1. STIMULATES BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood can accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills
Benefits of Bilingualism for children
1. STIMULATES BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
This is a shared benefit from both music and exposure to a second language.
Studies have shown that people who are bilingual are better at attention focusing than monolinguals. Brain scans show they have more gray matter in the regions of their brain that are involved in executive function.
New research shows that even babies less than a year old who are exposed to multiple languages show different cognitive patterns in their brain compared to monolinguals.
How music helps in learning a Second Language
Music is instrumental in learning both our native language, as well as additional ones. Children can imitate the rhythm and musical structure of their mother tongue long before they can say the words.
The rhythm of the music, as well as the repetitive patterns within the song, help them memorize words. Bilingual children, in particular, can benefit from singing songs in their second language. Even if most of the words are unfamiliar at first, mimicking the words in a song can help children practice producing sounds in the new language. Eventually the sounds give way to actual understanding as the song is practiced over and over again.
Exceptional musical ability is common among multilingual individuals. Likewise, musical people have increased aptitude in foreign language learning due to their superior ability to perceive, process, and reproduce accent. Understanding how music can help with language learning is important, as when listening to music, following the lyrics and melody and/or rhythm requires both sides of our brains to be active, making it easier to remember information that’s simply read.
Are infants and toddlers too young to learn a Second Language?
A new study by University of Washington Institute of Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) published July 17, 2017, is among the first to investigate how babies can learn a second language outside of the home. The researchers, Naja Ferjan Ramirez and Patricia Kuhl, sought to answer a fundamental question: Can babies be taught a second language if they don’t get foreign language exposure at home, and if so, what kind of foreign language exposure, and how much, is needed to spark that learning?
Ferjan Ramirez said the findings show that even babies from monolingual homes can develop bilingual abilities at this early age.
With the right science-based approach that combines the features known to grow children’s language, it is possible to give very young children the opportunity to start learning a second language, with only one hour of play per day in an early education setting,” she said. “This has big implications for how we think about foreign-language learning.”
Science indicates that babies’ brains are the best learning machines ever created, and that infants’ learning is time-sensitive. Their brains will never be better at learning a second language than they are between 0 and 3 years of age,” said co-author Patricia Kuhl, co-director of I-LABS and a UW professor of speech and hearing sciences.
Will learning a Second Language confuse my child?
Research shows that children who study a foreign language perform better in their native language than non-bilingual students, as measured on standardized tests. Other research has shown that children learning a second language start reading earlier, and the advantage increases the earlier they are exposed to the second language. In addition, bilingual children were better at identifying grammatically incorrect sentences than monolinguals.