Aside from what will be the most fun part of your week, there are countless important benefits your children will gain by participating in our program! Here are just a few reasons to tap yourself on the shoulder for being such a stellar parent and bringing your children to Bilingual Birdies each week.
When young children learn double vocabularies they are setting the foundation for learning different ways to solve logic problems, multi-task, and understand object permanence. These advanced skills are a part of the brain’s executive function. Just like anything else, when you start to fine-tune a part of the brain at such a young age, it opens the door for greater potential further down the road. Dr. Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, calls bilingual babies “more cognitively flexible” than monolingual infants. This means that, even from infancy, your child is planting a seed for their future success in other areas of learning, as well as building a knack for the phonetic sounds and intonations of a foreign language.
Additionally, Therese Sullivan Caccavale, president of the National Network for Early Language Learning (NNELL), stands firmly by the fact that studies have shown repeatedly that foreign language learning increases critical thinking skills, creativity, and flexibility of mind in young children. Students who are learning a foreign language out-score their non-foreign language learning peers in the verbal and, surprisingly to some, the math sections of standardized tests.
So, if you want your little one to be not only the cutest kid on the block but also the smartest, come to a Bilingual Birdies class for this important benefit.
Learn more about Dr. Khul’s research in a fantastic 2011 NY Times article entitled “Hearing Bilingual: How Babies Sort Out Language.”
All Bilingual Birdies classes are taught through live music, movement, dance, puppetry, and games. There are clear social and emotional benefits that are shown through the use of our music technique. How do you feel when you randomly hear your favorite song in passing? Suddenly time stops, the outer corners of your mouth raise, and a deep sense of joy enters your body. You are more relaxed and excited about life both at the same time. This is the feeling we are going for by incorporating cutting-edge music for children in our classes. Music stimulates the brain, the emotions, and the body simultaneously. Auditory impulses structure the way we learn to communicate – in speech, movement, and expression, music holds many nutrients for the developing mind of children.
Our live music curriculum details how children will learn in an entertaining, age appropriate, challenging, and interactive fashion. Each Bilingual Birdies class tells a story and highlights an important theme that relates to the developmental world of children. Throughout that journey, children are invited to learn new words while playing. Our Six Step Plan for introducing new words includes musical ways to repeat vocabulary using dynamic melodies and engaging movements. Since live music is at the core of each class, children also get the opportunity to explore new words and phrases using world rhythms such as plena or zoka. The classes are all structured the same each week as the themes change to cover a wide variety of subjects that are important to kids. They learn our system after a few weeks and feel empowered by knowing what comes next and how they may participate. Through these organized methods, children learn to engage with a heightened sense of self, responsibility for self and others, and pro-social behavior.
We are in the midst of some seriously changing times. The other side of the world is now available at your fingertips and, in many ways, the US of A is behind in terms of preparing today’s preschoolers to be leaders of tomorrow’s global society. Mandarin speakers are at 1 billion worldwide and it is a priority for the little ones in China to be introduced to English in the early childhood years. Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the US – practically everyone knows a Spanish speaker who they could become better friends with if they had a better grasp of the language.
If you are ever planning to take a vacation to Paris, you will have a greater chance of connecting with the culture and people if you can effectively communicate in French. French is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations. Anyone who was subject to Hebrew school when they were younger knows there has to be a more dynamic way of cultivating a love for the language that doesn’t involve outdated traditional practices. If you, or someone you know, is looking to learn English now is the time. I feel that it is our duty to offer an opportunity for our children to be prepared for an increasingly globalized job market and be able to contribute to all corners of the world.
Isn’t that what we are all after in the end? We conducted a poll in which we asked as many parents as we could find – approximately 50 or so – what they think the most important value they could instill in their children is. The majority answered along the same lines as a mom named Olivia who said “I want my kids to learn strong values, to respect others, stand up for themselves, and be compassionate.” Our entire goal with the Bilingual Birdies program is to achieve this. Yes, your children will learn new vocabulary, songs, games, and have a brilliantly empowering experience, but throughout this foreign language learning journey, they will also enhance their tolerance, celebrate culture, and learn that “different” can also mean inspiring.