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Benefits of children learning in bilingual kindergarten in Germany




Abstract

This report will provide a firm foundation for bilingual kindergarten in future marketing campaign designed to highlight the benefits of dual language learning during the early childhood years. This research highlights a range of cognitive and social benefits, including the best practices in bilingual education for young children. Recommendations are made highlighting the key content that should be included in the campaign.

Introduction

Bilingual education is becoming an essential factor of many kindergarten programs and schools. The popularity of bilingual education for infants and preschool children constantly increases. “In many communities around the world, competence in two, or more, languages is an issue of considerable, socio-cultural, economic, and political significance” (Genesee 2004, p.547). In Germany, bilingual education is same as a necessary component of primary school curricula, but it just only a small number in early childhood grades. This report will investigate the benefits of bilingual kindergarten. The goal of this report is to review the main benefits of providing bilingual education in German kindergartens and some recommendations for bilingual education marketing in kindergartens.

Bilingual Germany

Findings

1. Globalization

Globalization creates favorable conditions for immigration and movement of people from one country to another. Germany has become home for thousands of immigrants such as Turkish, Italian, and Polish ( Oezcan,2004). In Germany, bilingual primary schools are becoming more and more prominent, supporting by integrationist immigration policies (“In Germany” 2010).Therefore it becomes more increases the importance of bilingual education. Bilingual education is a good way to keep children prepared for the language challenges presented by life. Garcia and Baker (2007) write that bilingual education in Germany was aimed to promote linguistic comprehension and awareness among neighbors to have a common cultural background. Bilingualism is a means to retain cultural individuality and, simultaneously, stay informed and modern in terms of communication and business activity. In the past years, regional integration and promotion of regional languages have become one of the major international trends (Genesee 2004).

2. Brain development

(Annie Dai,2012)

“Children who learn a second language before the age of five have been shown to have denser gray matter in their brains than their monolingual peers”( Sizer, 2012).The graph comparing the scores of second grade in a 10 week periods, the scores of bilingual kids grow faster and higher than monolingual kids. It shows the benefit that the intelligence of children being bilingual more developing than children being monolingual. “The differences are that bilingual children achieve higher scores than monolinguals on a number of tests of cognitive ability, including mental flexibility, non-verbal problem-solving tasks, understanding the conventional origin of names” (Nicoladis, 2006, p.21)

3. Social benefit

The social benefits of bilingual children education are considerable, with dual language programs promoting inclusion, sensitivity to diversity and cross-cultural competency. Children who learn to speak two or more languages since the early age are easily integrated into multinational and multilingual environments. Bilingual education in kindergartens contributes to the development and accumulation of children’s intellectual and language capital. Thus, bilingualism since the early age is a matter of developing advanced communication and language skills in children. This way, children will be better prepared to establish productive relations with other people, without any language difficulties

Conclusion

The evidence clearly suggests that a range of cognitive and social benefits exist for bilingual education during the kindergarten years in Germany. Bilingual education in kindergartens provides children and their parents with enormous benefits, from purely economic to more complex cultural and social ones. Children who engage in bilingual education early in life have better opportunities to develop effective relationships with other children and establish a strong cultural identity. Children who learn to speak two languages can develop a strong difference and learn to appropriate with diversity.

Recommendations

- As of today, few parents are aware of the benefits of bilingual education in German kindergartens (Sheffer 2003). Most parents are not familiar with the bilingual education and programs provided in local kindergartens. Germany does not provide any broad bilingual kindergarten programs. Therefore, the bilingual kindergarten should do a brief but comprehensive description of the major benefits of bilingual education for children for the government. To convince the government impulse the development of bilingual kindergarten in Germany.

- A child’s thinking at this age very simple so the bilingual kindergarten should teach the language program simply in form of activities, songs or games like typesetting; learn languages through pictures to make children have more interest. Besides that, bilingual kindergarten can provide some activities to develop children’s skills such as creative thinking or work in team which can help children in the future. Classroom with vocabulary words and pictures on the wall can promote the memory of children. Furthermore, bilingual kindergarten can expand the learning of children outside the classroom by giving the information about what teacher are teaching in class for parents. This will help parents have a basic knowledge about the language to practice with their children at home.

- Bilingual kindergarten should provide detailed information about the existence of other languages and their importance for the parents by creates some programs or events. Whereby parent can have more information and know more about the benefits of bilingual in children.

References

Annie Dai It’s a Small World After All

Bremer, Pam. Advantages of a Bilingual Education.

Garcia, O & Baker, C, Bilingual education: An introductory reader, Multilingual Matters.

Genesee, F, ‘What do we know about bilingual education for majority language students?’, in TK Bhatia & W Ritchie (eds), Handbook of bilingualism and multiculturalism, Blackwell, Malden, pp.547-576.

In Germany, the Future is Bilingual.

Nicoladis, E. Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Environment. Montreal: Lee Foundation

Orlov, Leonid Y., Siu-Man Raymond Ting, and Richard E. Tyler. 2009. Language Minority Experience: A Qualitative Study of Seven Bilinguals. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development 48, no. 2: 229-247.

Oezcan, V., Germany: Immigration in Transition. Patrinos, HA & Velez, E, ‘Costs and benefits of bilingual education in Guatemala: A Partial analysis’, International Journal of Educational Development, vol.29, pp.594-598.

Sheffer, CS, "Parents' lack of understanding of their children's bilingual education programs," Bilingual Research Journal, vol.27, no.2, pp.333-341.