A Developmental Cutting Edge
The research on learning a second language is clear- there are several benefits, and they last a lifetime. Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University found that early bilinguals can control and shift their attention more quickly. Oren Boxer, Ph.D., neuropsychologist found that children who know more than one language typically have more social understanding and empathy. Our own CEO and founder, Kristen Denzer, notes that being bilingual boosts brain function and gives kids an academic advantage. Even further, individuals who grow up bilingual have demonstrated that as adults their natural decline in cognitive ability slows, protecting them against illnesses like Alzheimers.
The culmination of these benefits positively impact our children and this ability to make a profound impact through language immersion is part of the reason we provide a Spanish immersion experience- we’re preparing kids for future learning and advancing their brains in the present.
A Cultural Experience
But why is Tierra Encantada a place for Spanish immersion? This goes back to the experiences of our CEO and founder, Kristen Denzer. Kristen has had ties to the Spanish language for a while- in college, she studied abroad in Mexico and experienced authentic immersion while living with a host family. It was there that she became passionate about having others learn new languages and about cultures other than their own. One of Tierra Encantada’s core values is that diversity makes us better, a realization partially borne out of Denzer’s experience abroad. When her own kids were ready for daycare and preschool, it felt right to combine her passion for the Spanish language and hispanic cultures with high-quality childcare.
A Widely Spoken Language
In addition to Denzer’s personal interest in Spanish, the widely spoken language seemed like a natural choice being the second most spoken language in the US (and in Minnesota, where we have eight Tierra Encantada locations). Beyond national borders, Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and speaking it is a great tool for connecting with others across the globe.
In short, the answer to “Why Spanish Immersion?” is a multi-layered one. At Tierra Encantada, we immerse students in a dual-language learning environment, based on continuous exposure to the Spanish language through games, songs, books and conversation, all of which contribute to developing those long-lasting cognitive and practical benefits.