I’m bilingual: What’s your superpower?
All kids have their unique talents, or rather combination of talents. At LFSF, students also have a superpower: they can speak, read and dream in two, sometimes three, or even four languages! Big deal, some might say, and yet!...
Particularly when bilingualism goes hand and hand with multiculturalism, being bilingual is the ability to speak, converse and express oneself in more than one language. This is however just the tip of the iceberg.
Bilingualism improves the structure and the performance of the brain
The results of research studies worldwide demonstrate the many advantages of learning in two languages. Students who learn another language show heightened executive functions : attention control, cognitive inhibition, and working memory. There is mounting evidence that bi- and multilingual people are better at analyzing their surroundings, multitasking, and problem solving. They have a larger working memory, even for tasks that do not involve language. Research shows that bilingual people have an easier time understanding math concepts and solving word problems. In terms of brain structure, they have more grey matter (and associated activity) in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, a locus for language control and broader executive function. And if this wasn’t enough, bilingualism has been linked to a 4-year delay of the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementias!
Bilingualism could make you a superhuman!
Being multilingual can improve your judgement and your social development. Being fluent in more than one language gives bilinguals greater insight into other ways of seeing the world which increases empathy, and openness. From an early age, they understand and value the richness of the world, its various countries, languages and customs. Consequently, they embrace its diversity, genuinely exercising the inclusion of all.
Used to working from different perspectives, bilinguals are more likely to be experts at working collaboratively, welcoming other opinions and finding solutions.
The ability to conceive the world from different angles is also a great way to practice from a young age the ability to think outside of the box, which fuels creativity.
Give your child the superpower of bilingualism
If this caught your interest and you’d like to learn more about giving your child the gift of bilingualism, keep in mind that these two important factors in searching for a quality, bilingual education.
The importance of an early start
Experts agree: to optimize bilingualism, it is advised to start your child’s linguistic immersion early. At the LFSF, it starts from the age of 2, with La Petite Ecole. This program - offered exclusively on the Sausalito campus - welcomes very young children and is the ideal way to gently prepare for preschool. Its mission is to inspire children to learn while developing social skills and allowing them to affirm and develop their personality within the group.
Throughout the Early Program years, children play and learn together, socialize and interact while immersing themselves in the French language. They explore the oral language along multiple other forms of communication: body language, comedy and artistic expression. They develop gross and fine motor skills. They learn to reason and organize their thoughts, while exploring the world around them.
Year after year, skills and knowledge deepen and students follow their path, forging lasting friendships over the years and developing a strong sense of belonging. Of the 2019 class of young baccalaureate graduates, nearly 60% had known each other since kindergarten!
Trust the experience
Providing Bay Area families with a high quality bi- and multilingual education has been the mission delivered by the Lycée Français de San Francisco (LFSF) for over 50 years. In fact, LFSF has been locally leading the way in terms of multilingual education and is the only school offering a truly multilingual and multicultural education, with an international section from primary to secondary school.
At LFSF, teams work directly with specialists on bilingualism and language acquisition among bilingual children, and their approach is continuously informed by the latest findings in linguistic and pedagogical research either from North America or Europe.
The richness and quality of the well-rounded program prepares today's children to become responsible, informed and global-minded adults well prepared for tomorrow’s challenges and opportunities. They benefit from a personalized journey, marked by enriching and formative experiences that represent unique opportunities to open up to the world and to the professional world.
For instance, on JAN 22, students and their parents will have a chance to meet and exchange with Stanford professor, designer, researcher and speaker Ge Wang during an edition of LFSF Speaker Series featuring several speakers to address teaching today’s digital kids how to safely and ethically explore and embrace technology. This event is open to the general public and free with RSVP. We hope to see you there!