what is dual-language learning?

We can’t say that bilingual children are “smarter”, but we do know that bilingualism impacts the areas of the brain that are directly linked to higher intelligences. The benefits are profound and lifelong.

The dual-language immersion program at IFS is built around the strongest language acquisition methodologies learning in English and Mandarin simultaneously:

  • Students are taught literacy and content in two languages.  Dual-language immersion programs include native English-speaking students and native speakers of a foreign language. A multilingual environment is when a child has exposure to a third language in the course of a school day in addition to their dual-language target languages.

  • The biliteracy program begins in preschool and continues through 8th grade. 

  • We envision young adults who can move comfortably and confidently between languages and cultures effectively communicating across diverse audiences. 

Benefits of Dual-Language Learning: 

  • Directly linked to measures of higher intelligences

  • Improves executive functioning by increasing attention and spatial-awareness, as well as better ability to discern meaning and better memory.

  • Recent studies show that students enrolled in six year dual-language programs have been more academically successful in English literacy, math and science than their monolingual peers. It also improves cognitive reserve that lasts a lifetime. Bilingual people have lower risks of Alzheimer's disease and dementia in their later years

Dual-language research is ample and descriptive. Here are some starting websites: 

University of Washington I-LABS

Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual

Student Outcomes in Dual Language Learning

Asia Society Article on Benefits of Dual-Language Learning

NPR - Brain Benefits

Mandarin Immersion Parent's Council

American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages

Super Social Skills of Bilingual Learners

Learning Languages in Early Childhood