While having over 30 nationalities within our nursery is a big positive for our little ones, living in a culturally diverse society where languages are a top focus is proving to be important for families with young children. Many children in Dubai grow up in multi-lingual environments. They often live, learn, and interact in different languages. At Inspire we have listened carefully to our families’ needs, where many called for additional language provision with emphasis on Arabic & French being most dominant in the UAE. This year we decided to increase our Arabic sessions from once to three times a week and also incorporated French once a week for children as young as 18 months.
It is becoming more apparent that learning multiple languages is of great benefit to children during the early years. During this time a child absorbs information like a sponge. Bringing very young children into contact with foreign languages may result in faster language acquisition as well as improved mother tongue skills. Along with this, it provides a great foundation with early language exposure in preparation for starting school in UAE where Arabic is compulsory & French is a popular second language of choice.
During the early years, child development is at its peak and we are providing the essential building blocks for successful learning. Therefore this is a great time to foster and encourage language skills, whilst learning is organically created. Infants learn by listening, seeing, imitating, and practicing. So talking to them in different languages and simply telling them what we are doing exposes them to new rhythms, words and syntax structures. At Inspire, we welcome children in many languages, introduce them to rhymes, songs, games, and counting in a second or third language.
Run by specialist early language partners, our language classes consist of whole group time singing a welcome song, using puppetry for story song and rhymes, lots of movement and action participation so children are not sitting for too long. This makes language learning so much fun!
Check out a French class at Inspire in action with this video:
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