Local daycare teaches kids to be bi-lingual - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Local daycare teaches kids to be bi-lingual

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

The parents and caregivers don't see FLICC as just a daycare, they see it as a school. The children leave fluent in Spanish, but still ready for English speaking kindergarten.

Starting as young as six weeks, the children at FLICC, the Foreign Language Immersion Center, hear nothing but Spanish. Friday's theme for the day was bees and honey, or abejas y miele.

"A lot of times the child's first words will be in Spanish, they learn to say milk or water or more and yes and no very quickly," says FLICC Director Sue Bolden.

She says the center has a very strict curriculum, which ensures the children are completely immersed in the Spanish language. By the time the kids reach the two-year-old class, they are able to communicate entirely in Spanish, and know many Spanish songs.

Bolden says the benefits are beyond foreign language. A recent study published in the New York Times says being bi-lingual actually makes you smarter.

Lauren Taylor has a two-year-old at FLICC. Her five-year-old has gone on to kindergarten, and she says FLICC has given her an advantage.

"She left FLICC able to read, writing really well, doing basic math, in English and in Spanish.  I've just felt like it has totally prepared her for school.  I feel like she was way ahead of some of her peers," says Taylor.

Yang Yang speaks to her two-year-old and five-year-old in Mandarin at home. She says at FLICC her girls learned Spanish from the teachers, and English from their peers. Her children are now tri-lingual.

"That's a window parents should not miss.  From birth to five-years-old or as early as possible. That window is just so precious, if you miss it, it's harder for the older kids to pick up a new language," says Yang.

Although the emphasis is on Spanish, the children's English does not suffer. The kids speak Spanish to their teachers and English to their classmates and parents, somehow knowing how to separate the two.

The four-year-olds meet one on one with an English tutor to be sure they are ready for traditional kindergarten. They graduate from FLICC ready for school, and then some.

"When a child has been at FLICC, especially if they've been here from the infant classroom on up, anything they can say in English, they can say in Spanish," says Bolden.

For more info on FLICC visit http://www.flicckidsmemphis.com/

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