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Advantages of bilingualism

What are the benefits of bilingualism?

Some studies show that bilingual people are less likely to suffer from dementia, which often affects the elderly. Bilingualism develops the mind from infancy until old age. Using multiple languages ​​and switching between them is a continuous training of the mind.  continue reading...

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Fluency in two languages ​​has obvious advantages in our increasingly globalized world. It’s been shown that, in addition to the practical benefits of being able to communicate with more people, educational opportunities abroad, and better professional prospects, bilingualism has a link to intelligence. This may be due to the fact that learning to use two languages from an early age affects the development of the brain and cognitive abilities.

Bilingual child

Until recently, scientists and educators regarded bilingualism as a kind of obstacle to a child’s natural development. Some part of this claim is true. There’s ample evidence that in the brain of a bilingual child, both language systems are active even when the child only uses one language. In this way, situations can arise where one system blocks the other. However, such interference is increasingly seen as an advantage, as it forces the brain to resolve this internal conflict, thus giving it extraordinary exercise. It’s been proven that bilingual children are often more adept at solving all kinds of intellectual puzzles. We recommend this article: Give your child a solid start in life through bilingualism.

Why do parents choose a bilingual school?

Parents decide to enrol their kids in a bilingual school or preschool for several reasons. One is the desire to improve their linguistic skills from an early age, which later on will provide them with a better start and opportunities for further education. Another relates to the origin of the child. Parents of two nationalities, who are often bilingual, usually want their child to be fluent in both parents’ mother tongues. If they speak to the child in two languages ​​from birth, they’d like to continue this throughout their schooling.

In the past, bilingual schools were quite inaccessible and considered to be elite. Both the tuition fees and the very limited number of places meant only children of diplomats and politicians could attend them. Currently, the popularity of such schools and preschools is growing. In Poland, there are already several dozen institutions (preschools, primary schools, and high schools) that offer learning and daily contact with two languages. These are Polish-English, Polish-Spanish, Polish-French, Polish-German, and even Polish-Japanese schools.

Bilingual schools are often international, meaning they have students from many countries. Such a cultural "mix" helps kids learn together and learn the value of diversity and other traditions and worldviews. Education in bilingual schools isn’t only about learning and mastering a language, but also getting to know other cultures and their traditions.

Bilingualism in the future

Bilingualism in adulthood allows for an easier start in the labour market. People fluent in more than one language, even without much professional experience, have a better chance of getting a desirable job. Graduates of bilingual secondary schools often choose to study abroad—they make global decisions about their future. The language barrier and fear of an unknown environment are a common reason why dreams of further education aren’t fulfilled. Bilingual children don’t have linguistic inhibitions, and they’re more likely to undertake education abroad and learn new languages ​​even more willingly because they’ve had contact with more than one language from an early age.

Bilingual schools in Poland

Parents and guardians who consider sending their kids to bilingual schools no longer have a difficult task. Most Polish cities have facilities that offer education in two languages. Many of them, ranging from preschool to secondary school, admit students all year round. Most of them are private schools.

One of the advantages of private bilingual schools is usually they’re highly comfortable and have modern facilities. The rooms are equipped with the latest multimedia equipment, their libraries are often full of literature in both languages, and they usually offer great sports facilities such as gyms and outdoor sports fields. The tuition fees in private bilingual schools range from several hundred to several thousand zlotys per month. The price depends on the stage of education and location.

Bilingual schools also create classes that can be attended by very young, e.g., one-year-old children, i.e., nursery classes. Their teaching staff is professionally prepared to run an education program for bilingual children—it’s different from the typical learning of a foreign language. During lessons, teachers communicate with students in a foreign language, which resembles learning a language with a native speaker.

The only disadvantage of bilingual education is a financial one. Not every parent can afford this type of school. However, there are so many benefits to bilingualism that it’s a good idea to carefully consider this type of education for your child. Bilingualism is a priceless ticket to an international professional career and an interesting global future.

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