early-total one-way program benefits

cognitive benefits

  • Learning more than one language gives children cognitive advantages.
    • Learning languages strengthens the processes required during problem solving, such as attention, inhibition, monitoring, and switching focus of attention (Marian and Shook (2012); Bialystok (2007)).
  • Research shows that children are able to learn one, two, or multiple languages earlier in life.

academic benefits

  • Students acquire literacy 2 ½ times faster than in English, so all students have access to books and information sooner.
  • Students experience increased levels of metalinguistic awareness and higher levels of academic achievement in English.
  • Spanish is Latin based and 80% of academic language has Latin roots. 
  • Intensive, well-constructed additive bilingual programs (dual language immersion) often will: “Ensure the highest test scores in all subjects; research has found the higher the proficiency in a second language, the higher the child’s test scores will be in English reading and writing, math, and science” (Howe, 2012).

cultural benefits

  • Students have the opportunity to experience additive bilingualism and biliteracy that fosters deep appreciation of and respect for Spanish language and culture at not cost to English-language development. 
  • Learning more than one language increases cultural awareness.
  • Students experience increased cross-cultural competency and authentic understanding and empathy for Spanish language culture and people.

performance/post-grad benefits

  • Proficiency expands domestic and international job opportunities.
  • Students have increasingly more opportunities in bilingual and cross-cultural work contexts both in the U.S. and internationally.

national and global benefits 

  • By 2020, Hispanics are expected to account for half of the growth in the U.S.’s labor force.
  • Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world.
  • Students experience increased cross-cultural competency and authentic understanding and empathy for Spanish language culture and people, and ultimately empathy for all other parts of the world.


early-total one-way work cited

How does the early total one-way program empower students to cross linguistic and cultural boundaries?

The story below about Olivia, an immersion student who worked as a translator in Guatemala, illustrates the depth of opportunities that bilingualism can provide for students. In order to foster a deep understanding of another culture, simply speaking the language is not enough. Effective communication comes from knowing the language and connecting with people. At addalingua, we know that being bilingual is only part of the larger goal to inspire global empathy, which is why our programs promote students’ cultural competency. Read about Olivia’s story below and how it was influenced by an addalingua early-total one-way program.

Discover how the addalingua mission to inspire global empathy through learning in two languages comes to life in a partner school.

from the addalingua blog