Isn’t My Amigos just for Hispanic children who need to learn English?
NO. My Amigos is for ANY child whose family recognizes the future academic and career benefits of learning a second language and/or is looking for a quality preschool education for their children.
Why teach Spanish if the language of the United States is English?
Research shows that any second language, whether Spanish or any other, is beneficial for children because it increases connections in the brain at a more rapid pace than monolingual children. It has also been documented that bilingual children tend to be better problem solvers because they learn that since things can be spoken in more than one way, there must be more than one way to accomplish most tasks. This ability is a coveted asset in a career.
Who cares if they start learning another language early if they will eventually learn it in high school or college?
While new language learning is easiest by age 7, the ability markedly declines after puberty. "We're seeing the brain as more plastic and ready to create new circuits before than after puberty," says Dr. Patricia Kuhl of the University of Washington. As an adult, "it's a totally different process.”
How do you know if the Hispanic students are documented or undocumented?
My Amigos is licensed to care for children by the Department of Social Services (DSS). DSS does not require us to question any child or parent concerning their status in this country. Therefore, My Amigos will enroll any child as long as they are able to provide the required DSS paperwork and immunization records.
Won’t learning another language confuse young kids and hold them back developmentally?
Italian researchers tested 44 12-month-olds because they wondered why there wasn't a delay (in development), and reported in the journal Science that being bilingual seems to make the brain more flexible. Gaze-tracking showed the bilingual babies learned two kinds of patterns at the same time — like lo-ba-lo or lo-lo-ba — while the one-language babies learned only one, concluded Agnes Melinda Kovacs of Italy's International School for Advanced Studies.
Can English speakers play and communicate in the class with Spanish speakers and vice versa?
YES. All children want to play and although some will not be confident speaking another language, they will begin to learn it by hearing it in the context of their play. Little by little, they begin to learn the language, but it is disguised through play. It is an almost effortless way for children to learn!!
Will the children only be taught about Mexican culture rather than the United States?
NO. Children at My Amigos are taught about each different continent of the world and an equal amount of instruction is given for each one. While some lessons on Mexican culture may be taught, lessons about other cultures, including the United States, are taught as well.
Is My Amigos associated with the government?
No. My Amigos is a private, 501(c)3 non-profit organization.