Building Bridges of Black and Brown Solidarity through Dual Language Education by Dr. Cervantes-Soon, Ph.D
"Despite the rapid demographic shifts taking place in the U.S., there is a dearth of research investigating the potential of dual language education in bridging Latin and African American communities. This is particularly problematic considering that these communities tend to live in side-by-side spaces of pervasive racial/ ethnic and economic segregation.
Often these students face similar issues and concerns such as the accelerated gentrification of their communities, deficit views of their cultural and linguistic practices, criminalization and police brutality, and low academic expectations. Yet these commonalities of experience do not necessarily lead to a shared identity."
We believe that crossing ethnic and racial social boundaries is best done at the earliest ages in order to help children overcome stereotypes about others and themselves, as well as adversities when they first appear. HILO™ ultimately aims to foster tolerance and economic advantages through academic bilingual and multicultural proficiency.
The length of time a student is able to devote to learning a language has a direct and positive correlation to cognitive development. Longer sequences also provide the opportunity for learners to grow alongside the additional language and culture, developing a deeper connection as they mature.
Research shows that learning a second language boosts problem-solving, critical-thinking, and listening skills, in addition to improving memory, concentration, and the ability to multitask. Children proficient in other languages also show signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility.
The cognitive benefits of learning a language have a direct impact on a child’s academic achievement. Compared to those without an additional language, bilingual children have improved reading, writing, and math skills, and they generally score higher on standardized tests.
Children who are exposed early to other languages display more positive attitudes to the cultures associated with those languages. The experience of learning a language introduces them to the world in ways they might otherwise have not experienced.
Contrary to popular belief, young children are not confused by the introduction of multiple languages at the same time. Not only do they naturally navigate multilingual environments, but acquiring a second language early in life primes the brain to learn multiple other languages, opening a world of opportunities for later on.