Dual language is a form of bilingual education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. Dual language programs foster bilingualism, bi-literacy, enhanced awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages. (Source: www.dual-language.org).
Research consistently finds that the immersion experience enhances English-language development. Immersion students who complete a full program perform better than non-immersion students on almost every academic measure available. They are well-read, competent, knowledgeable, interested in world affairs, and have strong academic skills in math, science, social studies and literature. Immersion education is enriching in every area of academic study and will give your child the advantage of becoming multilingual as well.
In addition to reaping the social and economic advantages of multilingualism, immersion learners benefit cognitively, exhibiting greater non-verbal problem-solving abilities and more flexible thinking. It has been suggested that the very processes that learners engage to make sense of a teacher’s instruction also make the learners pay closer attention and think harder. These processes, in turn, appear to have a positive effect on cognitive development.
From the standpoint of academic achievement, three 30-year studies consistently show that immersion students achieve as well as or better than non-immersion peers on English-language standardized tests measuring verbal and mathematics skills. (Source: www.tcgis.org)
Dual language education:
- enriches and enhances your child’s mental development;
- increases your child’s ability to have more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening;
- improves your child’s understanding of his or her native language;
- gives your child the ability to communicate with people she or he would not otherwise know;
- opens the door to other cultures;
- increases understanding, appreciation and empathy for people from other cultures;
- increases career and educational opportunities in fields where language fluency is a real asset.
The German language offers benefits to students now and in the future. Germany is the world’s fourth-largest economy; the world’s third-largest exporter in terms of gross exports (behind only China and the United States); and the world’s largest exporter in terms of net exports.
German is the most widely spoken language in the Europe Union with over 120 million native speakers worldwide (or one quarter of all Europeans). German is the official language of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. German is the third most popular language taught worldwide and the second most popular language taught in Europe and Japan (after English).
There are more than 1,100 companies in German-speaking countries that have subsidiaries in the United States. These companies account for 700,000 jobs in the USA. Well-known German firms with subsidiaries in the U.S. include: Adidas, Aldi, Audi, Bayer, Braun, BMW, Daimler Chrysler, DHL, Hugo Boss, Lufthansa, Mercedes-Benz, Puma, T-Mobile, Porsche, Siemens, Volkswagen, Continental Tire, and Deutsche Bank to name a few. More than 750 American companies are doing business in German-speaking countries, and these companies account for approximately 700,000 jobs in Germany. Fifty percent of polled U.S. companies said that they would choose someone with German literacy over an equally qualified person because German proficiency enables the company to export goods to the European Union and Eastern European countries.
Germany is the second highest exporter of high-tech products. Two-thirds of the world’s leading international trade fairs take place in Germany, including CeBIT, the world’s largest trade fair for information and communications technology.
Germans are major travelers and their first travel destination overseas is the USA (making it the #1 nationality of foreign tourists to the USA at 25%). Travel agencies, tour companies, hotels, airlines and car rental agencies that can communicate with Germans in their own language will win their business. Such a large number of Germans visit Florida that the state of Florida publishes at least 2 travel magazines in German: Florida Journal and Florida Sun Magazin.
Many colleges and universities recommend or require the study of German for students interested in: Anatomy, Architecture, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Art History, Biochemistry, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Comparative Literature, Dramatic Art, Film Studies, Genetics, History, International Business, Linguistics, Logic & Methodology of Science, Mathematics, Music, Near Eastern Studies, Philosophy, Physical Science, Physics, Physiology, Political Science, Religious Studies, Telecommunications, and Zoology – to name a few. Over 2,000 scholarships and grants are awarded to US students each year to help them study abroad in Germany. (Source: indiana.aatg.org/whyger.htm)
Additional Articles on Dual Language and Bilingual Education:
- Why Bilinguals Are Smarter by Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, The New York Times, March 12, 2012: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/opinion/sunday/the-benefits-of-bilingualism.html
- Should My Child Learn a Foreign Language? by Center for Applied Linguistics: http://www.cal.org/resources/pubs/whyhowwhen_brochure.pdf
- Global Lessons by Catherine Holecko, Parents, September 2012: http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/education-other-countries
- What Is a Foreign Language Worth? Prospero blog, The Economist, March 2014: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2014/03/language-study