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How To Jump On the Bilingual Boat :: A List of Bilingual Schools in DFW

Although you may be only beginning to get your little one to repeat her name or say her alphabet, this is actually the perfect time to give your child the opportunity to pick up a second (or third!) language.

Bilingual School #2The easiest time to acquire a language is when children are in their “sponge” years, before age 6, when they repeat everything that they hear (yes, including that F-bomb that accidentally flew out of your mouth when you stubbed your toe!) and are recognizing speech patterns. In addition to retaining a language better than an adult, research studies have shown that at only seven months old, bilingually raised babies are already cognitively more advanced than their monolingual peers. Other studies also point to:

  • increased creativity
  • ability to better multitask
  • stronger empathy
  • less chance of experiencing dementia in old age

(Check out a handy infographic on the benefits here via the Beverly Hills Lingual Institute)

But, if those 4 years of high-school Spanish are a blur, don’t fret! Luckily, DFW offers many ways to expose your child to another language. Beyond the nanny, au pair, or licensed in-home daycares run by caregivers fluent in a variety of languages and dialects, DFW also boasts many structured formal programs for second-language learning.

There are generally two kinds of programs: 1) Immersion: the target language is used 100% of the time, or 2) Dual Language: two languages, the target language and English, are used in varying percentages. Here are just a few to check out:

Spanish :: 

Name: Spanish House

Location: Two locations in Dallas, east of Central Expressway/75

Ages: 3 months – 1st Grade, 2nd Grade beginning 2015-2016 school year

Program: Immersion through Pre-K, introduction of English instruction in Kindergarten

For more info: (214) 826-4410, [email protected]

 

Name: Spanish Schoolhouse

Location: Multiple Locations all over the Metroplex

Ages: 2 years – Kindergarten

Program: Immersion through Pre-K, Dual Language in Kindergarten

For more info: (972) 618-2500, [email protected]

 

Name: Caminito Spanish Immersion and Montessori

Location: 252 S Elm St, Keller, TX 76248

Ages: 2 years – Kindergarten

Program: Immersion through Pre-K, Dual Language in Kindergarten

For more info: (817) 627-8727, [email protected]

 

Chinese (Mandarin) ::

Name: Buddah’s Light Private School

Location: 1111 International Parkway, Richardson, Texas 75081

Ages: 18 months – Kindergarten

Program: Immersion until 3 years and then Dual Language

For more info: (972) 907-0588, [email protected]

 

Name: Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool and Kindergarten

Location: 534 W Belt Line Road, Richardson, TX 75080

Ages: 2 years 9 months – Kindergarten

Program: Dual Language

For more info: (214) 446-1776, click here for the Tzu Chi contact form

 

Name: Ivy International Education Center

Location: 903 W. Parker Road, Plano, TX 75023

Ages: 18 months – 5 years

Program: Immersion to Dual Language, depending on age

For more info: (972) 633-5253, [email protected]

 

German ::

Name: German International School of Dallas

Location: 12411 Templeton Trail Farmers Branch, TX 75234

Ages: 18 Months – 5 years old, Kindergarten will open in Fall of 2016

Program: Immersion, Kindergarten will be dual-language

For more info: 214-507-0130, [email protected]

 

French ::

Name: Dallas International School

Location: 6039 Churchill Way, Dallas, TX 75230

Ages: 2 (by December 31)- High School

Program: Dual Language, (also adds some Spanish depending on child and parents)

For more info: (972) 991-6379 Extension: 2570, [email protected]

 

Bilingual School #1Although ANY exposure to a second language is beneficial, if you expect your child to be truly bilingual, research has shown that a child ought to spend at least 30% of awake time actively participating in a language (so napping at daycare, or passively watching Spanish cartoons doesn’t count). For most monolingual families, that means at least 5 hours a day, 5 days a week in another language. Of course, ANY exposure is a good thing, but if you want your kiddo to help translate when the hotel in Paris messes up your family’s reservation, the more the better!

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you choose a program:

  • Do many of the children attending also speak the target language, or does just the teacher?
  • Is the program an immersion program or dual language? What is right for my child’s age? How much exposure do they need to become proficient?
  • How easy will it be to maintain the language after my little one begins to attend English-speaking elementary school?

Being a parent of a bilingual child takes effort, consistency, and sometimes money, but luckily, Dallas has many resources to allow you to do it, and soon your child will be able to thank you for your effort with a xie xie, merci, gracias, or danke.

*Full disclosure: My child does attend one of these schools listed above.

Does your child attend a Bilingual School in DFW? How has your experience been?

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Dana Maldonado HeadShotDana, originally from Hawaii, finally settled down in Dallas after working on both the West and the East Coast. She juggles being a private investor, a doula, and raising a multilingual little boy, Sebastian (May 2013). Dana voraciously consumes audiobooks on the go since quiet reading time has eluded her since Sebastian was born. In addition to keeping tabs on all the great family events in Dallas, Dana is an expert on air travel with a baby, having dragged Sebastian multiple times across the world before he was 1 year old. Dana and her husband, Luis, reside in North Lake Highlands.

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One Response to How To Jump On the Bilingual Boat :: A List of Bilingual Schools in DFW

  1. Michelle October 23, 2016 at 10:33 am #

    My daughter has been attending Spanish House (Spanish House Elementary) since kindergarten, she’s now in 2nd grade, and they are great! She loves school and learns so much! I just wanted to update some information. They have a new campus for kindergarten through 5th grade at 7159 E. Grand Ave, Dallas, Tx 75223.

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