We should be informed about what's going on around us in language acquisition, right? -->Do you wish you had been able to attend a program like this one?
Providence Journal Sunday, August 20, 2011
Trilingual afterschool program is a first in R.I.
By Linda Borg, Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE –– The Federal Hill House Association will offer the state’s first early-learning trilingual immersion program, offering English, Spanish and Mandarin to children in an afterschool program.
The program, called Speak to Succeed, will hold an open house and enrollment reception on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the agency’s center on Courtland Street in Providence. Speak to Succeed is for children 18 months to 5 years of age.
The program is sponsored by Federal Hill House, which offers cradle-to-grave social services, in partnership with Global Language Project, a nonprofit that addresses equality in education through foreign-language learning.
“Today’s parents are looking for learning programs that not only work well but offer great value,” said Nina Pande, executive director of Federal Hill House. “Our program does both. Studies clearly show that early-childhood education is among the best investments around. As Rhode Island’s first early-learning center to offer a trilingual immersion program, FHHA wants to deliver on the promise of multilingual learning through careful, systematic curriculum creation, a rigorous teacher selection, evaluation and training process … and engaging, interactive classroom activities that transcend rote learning.”
“For the last three years, we have seen success in our programs throughout New York City,” said Angela Jackson, founder and executive director of Global Language Project. This is “the first time we have the opportunity to expand into another state and bring to Providence’s students a language curriculum that will prepare them to reap the benefits afforded by our ever-growing global economy.”
Language immersion is a proven method of teaching another language, Pande said. Immersion uses the target language as a teaching tool, “immersing” the student in the language. In-class activities, such as math or science, and those outside the class, including meals and everyday tasks, are conducted in the target language. Culture and traditions are also covered.
Studies show that children who learn a second language at early ages enjoy huge benefits, including increased mental flexibility, creativity, problem-solving and retention. They also display better performance on standardized tests, increased self-esteem and a deeper cultural awareness, according to Pande.
Research shows that babies, toddlers and preschool children can develop great fluency in foreign languages.
The curriculum emphasizes traditional and experiential learning and was created by leading educational professionals.
For information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.