Liberal Arts

Foreign Language

There several reasons behind the introduction of foreign languages in early childhood classrooms. In an increasingly globalized world, intercultural competence is essential, and that
it is important to awaken children’s interests in other people and cultures at a time when they are open and receptive. We believe that exposure to our students is imperative because:

  • Young children are very enthusiastic and love learning foreign languages. They find it fun and they enjoy discovering new worlds and new ways of saying things.
  • The younger the better. Young children are intrinsically better language learners, and will therefore become more proficient more quickly.

American Sign Language (ASL)

ASL is now classified as a world language, the same as Spanish, French, or any other foreign language. Therefore, if a child speaks sign language, the child is considered bilingual. When children are taught English and ASL together, they are processing language using both sides of the brain. This gives the children two places to recall language from instead of just one.

Children who know ASL score 17% higher on standardized tests administered in the younger school years than children who do not know sign language. Bilingualism of any languages (whether signed or spoken) is a great booster for brains. It enriches and enhances children’s cognitive processes, leading to higher abstract and creative thinking, better problem-solving skills, greater cognitive flexibility, better listening skills, greater academic achievement, and much more. It also promotes cultural awareness, literacy, and other intellectual benefits.

Parents of hearing children are discovering sign language is beneficial for children in a wide variety of situations. You can reinforce the signs your children learn at preschool by using them at home.

If you have additional questions, please contact our Administrative Office. And again, welcome to the Grace Academy CDC family!