If you ask any American over the age of 45 whether or not they had preschool Spanish or any kind of Spanish curriculum for preschool when they were coming up, the likely answer would be no. Of course, it would depend on where the person lived, but Spanish for preschool in the public sector or even a homeschool Spanish curriculum was likely not a thing in the 1970s in most parts or the country.
Obviously, times have changed. We are in touch with people from all over the world in an instant, and diverse languages have become more and more a part of our daily lives. If we want to earn, on average, 20% more as a bi-lingual employee than a monolingual one, we need to learn that second language. And if we had learned that second language at a young age, life would be a whole lot easier.
The good news for today’s children is that they are being taught a second language much earlier than their parents ever were. The earlier a child is exposed to learning a second language the better. Age before the age of 10 is best, and studies have shown that as early as five years of age is best. While learning several languages is common for today’s youth, it is Spanish that most kids focus on first, often during their preschool years.
Spanish is the official language of 21 different countries around the globe and many of these countries are some of the most beautiful places on the planet. Knowing the language makes any journey more enjoyable. In preschool Spanish curriculum, children get to explore many of these wonderful places through the art of the story.
A Spanish storybook has more than just words. It has worlds. Children get the opportunity to learn about what is out there in the world, instilling within them a curiosity that takes hold because they are learning the language while learning about the culture as well.
We have always learned languages this way. Think about how you learned to talk. It’s hard to even remember learning. You just picked things up as you went through your daily life. You heard people talk to you and when you were ready to form the words in your mouth, you talked back. This is how preschool Spanish functions. The earlier the child is exposed to the language and the culture through stories and conversation, the easier it is for that child to begin interacting in the language.
Whether we like it or not, we are in a global community, and in that global community, we will be much more prepared to succeed if we learn a language or two that is not our own. It’s never too late to learn a foreign language, but if we start our children at a young age, it won’t be as challenging.