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In 2009, foreign language instruction in public elementary schools had declined significantly. Read More

Strategies & Methodology

Click here for information on the latest in early language teaching methods.

Materials & Curricula

Discover a wealth of information on foreign language curricula and teaching materials.

Student Assessment

Find information on how to assess students' foreign language skills.

Search a database to find programs in your area.
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Benefits of Being Bilingual

Learning a second language at an early age

  • Has a positive effect on intellectual growth and enriches and enhances a child's mental development
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening
  • Improves a child's understanding of his/her native language
  • Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries
  • Gives a student a head start in language requirements for college
  • Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.
    (Center for Applied Linguistics)

Second Language Learning: Everyone Can Benefit
This CAL article by Kathleen Marcos (1998) reviews the personal, cognitive, academic, and societal benefits of second language learning. It also addresses such issues as the best age for language learning, special needs children and language learning, and what parents can do to support their child's language learning.

The Benefits of Early Language Learning
CAL's Online Resource Guide covers a wide range of topics and sources in early language learning and includes bibliographies, Web sites, and CAL Digests.

Raising Bilingual Children: Common Parental Concerns and Current Research
The purpose of this 2006 CAL Digest is to help pediatricians, speech language pathologists, classroom teachers, and other professionals who work with bilingual children and their parents understand common parental concerns related to bilingual childrearing and become familiar with the current science on bilingual child development.

Research Notes: Language Learning and the Developing Brain
A public radio program, "Gray Matters: The Developing Brain," describes
how the young brain develops, including early language ability (1996).

Language Study and the Brain
This bilingual (Spanish-English) site provides an overview of recent research about the brain, general recommendations for classroom teaching, and assorted teaching activities.

The Cognitive Advantages of Balanced Bilingualism
This article in Brain Connection (2000) dispels some of the myths associated with bilingualism and provides resources that show the benefits of bilingualism.

Being Bilingual Boosts Brain Power (2004)
Based on a paper in Nature, this article shows that the gray matter is denser in bilinguals' brains than in monolinguals' brains.

Brain Research: Implications for Second Language Learning
In this CAL Digest, Fred Genesee from McGill University reviews how the brain learns naturally and how language teachers can use this knowledge to enhance their classroom practice.

Raising Children Bilingually
Find many useful resources for parents and educators.

June 30, 2009