There’s an unsettling trend: 100 per cent of kids in Kindergarten read for pleasure. By Grade 4, only 54 per cent say they do; 30 per cent in Grade 8 and just 19 per cent are choosing to read for enjoyment by Grade 12. Something happens to the reading experience of young people to make it seem a lot less enjoyable as they move from elementary to middle school to high school.
Whether your home is bilingual or not, enrolling your children in a French Immersion program is an option readily available in Calgary. When considering this option for your children, you are making a conscious choice for their future and are likely weighing the pros and cons.
If you live in one of Calgary’s many growing communities, you may be seeing a welcome sight in the neighborhood: a new school. In fact, nine new schools are expected to open in September 2016 with an additional eight schools planned to open in January 2017. A new school creates a lot of excitement in a community, but can also generate many questions from parents and residents: What grades will be in the school? Who is the principal? Will there be a playground? What are the bell times?
Here are some ways speaking two or more languages primes a child’s brain to be receptive and ready to learn at school. Outdated advice warned parents learning more than one language at a time could be a disadvantage for their child because it would slow language development. However, recent research on brain functioning shows kids from bilingual families actually have a unique advantage as students, due to the healthy workout their brain has accomplished in acquiring two languages. Developing fluency in one or more language is an activity that can really be a benefit to a child as a student.
Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2018 Calgary’s Child