The same questions come to my mind over and over again:
- When is the perfect time to learn a second language?
- Can two languages be a first language at the same time?
Large amounts of articles talk about the positive effects of bilingualism, the connections between language and the brain, and so on. There are even studies that suggest that speaking two languages or more prevent mental illnesses like Alzheimer or senile dementia.
At CEI El Jarama, we share this view and therefore work every day in expanding this trend and increasing the number of bilingual children in our society by adding, as one could say in Spanish, our “granito de arena” (our grain of sand). Over the last 22 years, we have been running programmes for our Spanish students to learn English in Spain. After some time of successful achievements with happy teachers, parents and students, we decided to open up our minds and develop Spanish programmes for International students. Of course, learning Spanish in Spain!
With this blog entry, I don’t intend to give an answer to the questions above. What I am trying to do is put these questions into a context where one can find different answers to an increasing demand such as the learning of a second language along with the experience of a different culture – concepts that “caminan de la mano” (walk hand-in-hand).
ICEF Berlin Workshop was the third international education forum that we attended in the last two years. In 2013, our director Víctor Manuel Rodríguez Martínez attended the Alphe Japan and Alphe Korea conferences. Last summer we also went to Alphe London. These conferences and forums are an enormous opportunity to get an idea of where this bilingualism world is at. It gave us the chance to meet agents from all over the world and understand that great amounts of students of different nationalities are willing to go and study abroad to learn a new language and to have the wonderful experience of getting to know a new culture.
We don’t know when the perfect time to learn a new language might be, but what we can assure you is that there are thousands of enthusiastic students looking for their perfect programme. Here is where we want to be ready, ready to offer the best language, nature, adventure, sports, and cultural programmes to students from all over the world. ToJunior students, 16+ students and 18+ students. All year-round programmes andsummer courses. We are ready to deliver the best programmes that will help, to some extent, to increase the number of bilingual people in the world.
Don’t think twice, learn Spanish in Spain!!!
By Isabel O’Keeffe – CEI El Jarama Overseas Department