SD 20 chair says Kindergarten comes with great second language options
In School District No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia), Kindergarten registration week is Feb. 1 -5, 2016 at your child’s catchment area school. This is such an exciting time for families as they look forward to this major milestone in their child’s life. We all want to give our children the best education possible that will help them to thrive and grow into incredible, caring adults ready to take on the world!
One of the ways that we can give our children the very best outcome is enroll them in a second language program. The gift of language is an investment that will last a lifetime! Current research is very clear, learning a second language actually makes your child’s brain grow and it doesn’t matter which second language that is…Russian, French, Italian, Spanish…it’s all good!
The benefits of learning a second language have been well researched. It not only grows the language centers of the brain, but improves a child’s overall academic performance. Acquiring a second language improves critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility.
Learning a second language also assists in helping children understand other cultures from the world and increases their global awareness – which is a critical skill in the 21st Century. As children become adults, they will live and work in a society that is considered to be global. It is a known fact that most careers involve working and interacting with individuals from different regions of the world on a regular basis. Having a second language can provide opportunities for increased career choices and career advancement later in life.
We used to believe that learning a second language delayed the learning of a child’s first language. Research now indicates that just the opposite is true! Two languages are better than one! It may sound backward, but learning a second language can give your child a firmer grasp on his first. Formulating foreign phrases requires the use of grammar skills, which allow him to better understand the rules of his native tongue. That double reinforcement leads to a solid foundation in literacy skills.
We are very fortunate in our school district to offer early language programs in Russian and French as well as English! These programs are available to all students in our district and are currently located at Twin Rivers Elementary School in Castlegar. This trilingual school has extraordinary programs to offer kindergarten students and I hope that parents will consider the opportunity to support their children’s learning journey by enrolling them in one of the second language programs.
Board Chair for SD No. 20 (Kootenay-Columbia)