Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Benefits of Teaching Dual Literacy

With a bachelor of arts from Hawaii Pacific University, Kristin Kinkel taught ESL (English as a second language) for about three years. During this time, Kristin Kinkel was involved in examining the benefits of teaching dual literacy to native Spanish-speaking children.

Studies show that helping Spanish-speaking children develop into bilingual and biliterate students has many benefits. Research out of York University in Toronto, Ontario, discovered that preschool-aged children who are bilingual have better cognitive flexibility than those who only speak one language. Other research also suggests that, in the long term, the cognitive ability acquired through mastering two languages may prevent dementia. 

Children also benefit culturally and economically from being fluent in two languages. Mastering Spanish can help them to better retain their native culture and maintain relationships with those who share their ethnic background. Furthermore, learning English can help children become immersed in American culture. Additionally, a study out of the University of Florida shows that adults who learned two languages may earn up to $7,000 more a year than their colleagues who only speak English.