We provide a variety of innovative, language immersion school experiences for our youngest learners. Brooklyn Global Prep is a unique, Reggio-inspired Language Immersion Preschool in the beautiful Oosten building located in the Williamsburg waterfront district, just one subway stop from Manhattan, seconds from the East River Ferry and right at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge. We provide a variety of innovative, language immersion school experiences for our youngest learners. Children spend their day immersed in rich vocabulary in Mandarin Chinese or French. While our academic curriculum is presented by loving native speaking teachers, in an interactive and engaging way.
Dating back to 1200 BC, Mandarin is one of the oldest languages in the world. When children become fluent in Mandarin, they learn about an entirely different part of the globe along with its rich cultures and history. Today, Chinese has the most native speakers of any language in the world encompassing 1.3 billion people; over 900 million of whom speak Mandarin. With its semanto-phonetic writing system made up of characters that include pictograms, logograms, and ideograms, Mandarin is challenging and fun to learn. It is also a tonal language; the same word can have different meanings when one of four different tones is used. A little known benefit, once students begin to learn characters in Chinese, they find that many of the same characters are used or adapted to the Japanese and Korean languages.
Learning Mandarin equips students for the world beyond BGP. By some estimates, one-fifth of the globe speaks Chinese, and the population of China alone is 1.4 billion people making it the most populous country in the world. While China has almost 300 different languages and dialects, three-quarters of the population speak Mandarin. It is the official language of Taiwan and one of four official languages of Singapore, so students that are bilingual and biliterate in Mandarin are uniquely-positioned when they enter the global community.
First and foremost, learning French is the pleasure of learning a beautiful, rich, melodious language that is often called the language of love. French is also an analytical language that structures thought and develops critical thinking, which is a valuable skill for discussions and negotiations.
French is a young, vibrant, international language. It is the only language other than English to be spoken on all five continents. In fact, among its 275 million speakers, more than 96 million live in Africa, yet it also represents the 2nd most widely spoken native language and foreign language in Europe.
Recent research indicates that being bilingual may actually make people more creative and better at solving complex problems. Bilingual children can also benefit from a stronger working memory, the ability to hold facts in mind that aids in many skills, such as comprehending complex sentences or performing mental math efficiently. Bilingual children may also have an edge in executive function, or the ability to consciously direct their activities, which is highly correlated to success in school and in life! Recent studies have even shown that full bilingualism may delay the onset of Alzheimer’s symptoms as well!
While some educators and parents may be concerned that speaking and learning in more than one language may negatively impact academic achievement, many studies actually point to opposite results. Knowing another language well actually imparts a stronger ability in meta-language skills, such as understanding grammar rules. Compared to mono-lingual children, bilinguals also appear to have an edge in achieving high scores in standardized tests, such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT).
Newborns can distinguish their native tongue from a second language, and babies have the cool superpower to tell the difference between 800 sounds. This silent ability to distinguish different languages disappears by about 8 months old, though, unless the baby grows up in a bilingual environment. Of course, children can still learn a second language later on.
There’s mounting evidence that at around eight to 10 months old, there’s a change in the baby’s brain called perceptual narrowing, also referred to as neural commitment,” says Luisiana Melendez, associate clinical professor and director of the Early Childhood Bilingual/English as a Second Language Certificate Program at Chicago’s Erikson Institute, a graduate school specializing in child development. “The baby is narrowing down the range of sounds to those heard around them. If the child is exposed to only one language, usually by age 3 it becomes a little harder to discriminate the sounds of another language.” What that means is if you want your child to learn a second language, it’s best to introduce it in the first year of life.