The kindergarten program currently covers 5 years: Pre-Nursery, Nursery, Kinder 1, Kinder 2 and Pre-Primary. From Pre-Nursery to Kinder 2 we run a total immersion English program. This means that students are spoken to in English 100% of the time they are at school, regardless of the class or activity that they are doing.
The British American School in Puerto Vallarta is a cosmopolitan educational institution who takes pride in having students of different nationalities; with a naturally predominant Mexican population, but also children from the USA and Canada. Many of our students speak English with their parents at home. The result is that English is heard all over the school inside and outside the classrooms, and students feel comfortable with the language and use it on a regular basis.
Being in a total immersion program impacts the brain in many ways that are beneficial not only for the acquisition of the target language, but also make students better learners in general.
There's a well-established positive relationship between basic thinking skills and being a fully proficient bilingual who maintains regular use of both languages. Fully proficient bilinguals outperform monolinguals in the areas of divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem solving. (Bialystok, 2001; Cenoz & Genesee, 1998; Hakuta, 1986; Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, 2009; Peal & Lambert, 1962)
Bilingual children develop the ability to solve problems that contain conflicting or misleading cues at an earlier age, and they can decipher them more quickly than monolinguals. When so doing, they demonstrate an advantage with selective attention and greater executive or inhibitory control. (Bialystok, 2009)
Fully proficient bilingual children have also been found to exhibit enhanced sensitivity to verbal and non-verbal cues and to show greater attention to their listeners' needs relative to monolingual children. (Lazaruk, 2007)
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