When searching for an elementary school for your child, you might have decided to look beyond traditional schools and programs and want to opt for a bilingual elementary school. If you're interested in sending your child to one of these schools for kindergarten or even for their full elementary education, these are some of the things that you're going to want to know.
Most Bilingual Schools Operate in English and Spanish
You might have heard of bilingual schools, but you might not be sure which languages will be taught and used in the school. Typically, in the United States, bilingual schools operate in English and Spanish. However, in some places — such as in many areas of Canada — there are bilingual schools that operate in English and French. In some areas, you may be able to find schools that operate in English and another language. Overall, though, in most places, you can expect for bilingual schools to teach English and Spanish, since these are two of the most commonly spoken languages in the United States.
Your Family Does Not Have to Know Spanish
One big thing that you could be wondering is whether or not your family needs to know how to speak both English and Spanish in order for your child to attend a bilingual school. However, this is not necessary. Of course, if possible, you may want to try to introduce your child to Spanish at least a little bit before they start school. You might also find that this is a good time for the entire family to work on learning the language and immersing yourselves into the culture.
Your Child Can Benefit Greatly
Even if you are interested in sending your child to a bilingual school, you might not be completely sure that it's going to be a good idea for your family. However, bilingual schools can benefit children greatly. Learning a new language helps children in other areas of their academic work, too. Many children who attend bilingual schools test higher on standardized testing. Plus, your child can learn about a new culture that they might not otherwise be able to experience.
It's Important to Encourage Your Child to Keep Practicing
Your child will probably learn a lot of Spanish while they are in a bilingual school. Continuing to send them to a bilingual elementary school after kindergarten is a great idea since it will encourage them to continue learning and improving in Spanish. If your child ends up enrolling in another school that isn't bilingual, you may want to encourage them to practice Spanish so that their skills will improve rather than getting rusty.
Contact a bilingual elementary school for more information about their programs.