As parents, we have a vital role to play in the education of our children. From the onset of school entry, we make decisions which will affect their future. One of the most significant decisions is whether to put our children into a French education program. As with all decisions, the ‘who, why, where, and when’ questions have to be asked and answered, and the consequences of those answers weighed and accepted. We have to decide just how important to the future of each child is the learning of a second language, French, within the school system.
The future is bright…
Many studies have reported that bilingual children exhibit a greater sensitivity to linguistic meaning and may be more flexible in their thinking than are monolingual children (Cummins and Swain 1986). They are blessed with bilingual brains!”
Get it right !
When children are learning two languages at the same time parents need to work out language strategies that emphasize boundaries between the languages. For example :
- One parent, one language. Each parent consistently speaks one language while the other parent speaks another language (usually each one speaks his or her native language to the child and possibly the common language to each other).
- Both parents speak one language in the home and a second language is used at school.
One fact is clear, children are faster at mastering a second language than adults and the earlier they start the better. All is decided in early childhood, and children have better language learning abilities.