Bilingualism

We know for sure  today  that exposing children to a second language from an early age is a positive development factor.
Paradoxically,  However, there are very few nursery structures offering a bilingual environment.

Plume: bilingual nurseries for your children

How does it work at         ?

Logo Plume
  • We must admit we have always been really impressed by young children from bilingual families, showing capacities to learn several languages at home.
     

  • In order to understand these mechanisms, we met scientists in neurosciences from CNRS where we benefited from enriching talks and presentations dealing with the advances of research-works and numerous experiments carried out in the past 30 years. These meetings got us utterly convinced that exposing a child to a second language from an early age, is beneficial to her / his development and the earlier the exposure, the better.
     

  • Consequently, our idea lies in setting up bilingual immersion conditions as similar to home as possible.  So as to implement these conditions in our crèches, we have come up with two major guide-lines.
     

    • For each Plume crèche, we recruit an English-speaking professional in addition to our French-speaking staff: (s) he is specifically in charge of interacting in English with your children and giving them the opportunity to get exposed to both French and English permanently all day long.
       

    • We have developed a customized program and specific interacting materials for beneficial communicative language activities for each age-group to give your child the best possible opportunities to unfold her / his skills in two languages.

Frequently Asked Questions

We have tried to answer the main questions parents have on the subject.
If you have any further questions, please call or email us, we will get back to you quickly.

More information ?

If you are interested in the subject, you will find information below and in the link mentioned at the bottom of the page
more detailed information on the research carried out in the field of bilingualism.

Bilingualism, what are we talking about?

Childish bilingualism is not the addition of the two languages in the child's brain. Rather, it is about building a two-pronged linguistic capacity. Indeed, the structures of the brain of the young child are so flexible that they can learn two or three languages as easily as only one, and this until the age of 7 years.

On condition that languages are learned at the "language age", that is to say  At a time when brain plasticity is on the rise, it is just as natural to learn one or two languages.

After the critical age of seven, the acquisition of a new language is another process and must make the detour through the mother tongue. You could say that after seven years, you no longer learn language but languages.

Short,  if we are lucky enough to fall like Obelix, as a baby, into a magic potion made up of two or more languages, that is to say to be immersed in bilingualism from the very beginning, we become bilingual.

It is the presence or absence of a language in the environment that stimulates the acquisition or on the contrary causes the loss of a language. From a neurological point of view, certain connections between neurons  are requested when "flexibility" (in scientific language,  cortical malleability) of the brain in full swing, connections which, in monolingual children, have been sclerotic at the language age with the result, the final closure of this  cognitive window.

These "cabling", installed during the construction of the  language, have repercussions on the child's entire future in several respects, particularly with regard to his schooling.

The most exhaustive research in this area comes from immersion programs in Canada, carried out for twenty years between the sixties and the eighties, with the aim of making language teaching truly effective in an officially bilingual country.

 

During this period, French in Canada was threatened by English-speaking Canada. This is why attempts have been made to offer a school curriculum in French for English-speaking children, and, conversely, a curriculum in English for French-speaking children.  Thus, comparisons could be made on samples of monolingual children from the same establishments by  tests  verbal and non-verbal.  

It should be noted that these programs concerned children who did not use the second language (English or French) outside of the school context.  

The results are surprisingly unanimous. There are excellent results in terms of second language learning abilities in children exposed to these tests.

Even more surprisingly, there was also greater mental flexibility, conceptual mobility and problem-solving ability than in monolingual children . The consequences  Particularly impressive were shown in the field of mathematics, where children from bilingual education systematically scored higher than their monolingual peers.

According to the researchers, this phenomenon is explained by the intellectual stimulation provided by bilingualism . More precisely, the phonological and grammatical capacities and the calculation capacity are governed by the same frontal brain area (which is called  Broca's area). Thus, the stimulation of this area by early bilingualism leads to the creation of numerous neuronal connections, which would have direct repercussions on the potentialities in mathematics.

And how do we know that?

How it works ?

All the elements mentioned above are taken from the publication of Maria Kilhstedt, Senior Lecturer  in psycholinguistics at the University of Paris X Nanterre.

The full article can be found here: skoldiwangwengamp.com/testennou/avantages_bilinguisme.pdf