New York City is filled with people from hundreds of different countries and there are rich and diverse communities throughout the city. Yet most American children speak only English in their early years and do not begin to learn a second language until middle or high school when much of the brain’s architecture has formed, and the process of truly becoming bilingual is much harder. Immersion preschools like the Language and Laughter Studio can help children as young as two start on their bilingual journey.
When children learn new languages in the early years of life, it builds a nuanced blueprint in their brains that allows for easier acquisition of additional languages in the future, deepens creative thought, encourages flexible and analytical thinking, and encourages open-mindedness and curiosity about difference.
By learning the unique properties of a new language, children are invited to consider universal characteristics that exist in all languages and they engage more deeply with their native language.
Children use language to make sense of themselves in the world – they learn to reason, to articulate ideas and concepts, and to name and explain emotions. Their learning is shaped by the language they speak. When they learn a new language, they can explore and make sense of life with many more words and phrases and an additional set of cultural connotations. This offers them so much more specificity to name, describe, and understand everything they encounter in life.
Bilingualism Deepens Empathy and Can Affect Social Change
The act of learning a new language requires humility and perseverance. It is hard to be surrounded by language that you do not understand. For many children arriving in New York City from other countries, this is a common experience. American children raised in monolingual homes, who do not live abroad in childhood, can easily get through life without this feeling that so many new Americans experience.
But when children are given the opportunity to acquire a new language early in life, they share these feelings of confusion, occasional frustration, and ultimately the incredible accomplishment and ability to deeply communicate.
They are able later in their schooling to empathize with their peers who are learning to speak English. And they are more easily able to pick up new languages to make these peers feel welcome.
Young children have a strong moral compass, with clear ideas of what is just and unjust. Learning language is one of the best skills to lay a foundation for equity. When children become bilingual at a very young age, they truly understand that diversity is essential to the wellbeing of this world. They develop a deep appreciation of other cultures, other individuals, and themselves.
The Language and Laughter Studio is a diverse community including Francophone, bi-cultural, and American families, and families from many countries throughout the world.
About The Language and Laughter Studio
The Language and Laughter Studio is a Progressive French Immersion preschool serving children ages 2 to 5 in Boerum Hill. For over 15 years, they have warmly welcomed families who believe in the importance of bilingualism. No prior experience with French is necessary, and children leave the program fluent. Most children go on to continue schooling in public and private dual language schools.
At LLS, children are immersed in French throughout the day. They hear the language through stories, theater, music, and puppetry and spend their days engaged in art, play, sensory exploration and building. In this warm exploratory setting, they feel they can take risks; they can sing alongside their teachers, experiment with new sounds, move their mouths in different ways.
They listen, they absorb, they connect physically with teachers and peers, they explore and engage with their hands. And then, one day, they begin to speak. Their whole world expands. They play with new sound systems and gradually it becomes theirs. It is colorful, it is diverse, it is vulnerable, transformative, and expansive.
Sponsored by the Language and Laughter Studio.
Apply for a Preschool seat for the 2022-23 School Year Here!
Worksheet to WOW: 10 ways to upgrade your worksheet
5 Sumptuous Treehouses in Quebec for a Stay That Meets your Expectations
Places to visit in Monferrato, Piedmont