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Mandarin immersion in Toronto, Canada

March 2, 2013

Mandarin and Spanish are coming up fast as desirable classes for young students

“We have some parents who are businesspeople who see the language as a tool for the next generation.” DONNA BOOTH DALTON SCHOOL PRINCIPAL

Learning a second language when you’re young isn’t just about getting an edge on your peers.

TORONTO FRENCH SCHOOL PHOTOBilingual education can give children an edge in work and life, and enrolment in French programs is growing.“It leaves students more open to other cultures . . . and they learn how people have different perspectives and ways of looking at the world, which enriches their understanding of the human condition,” says Susan Markle, director of admissions at Toronto French School, an independent school in Toronto for children in nursery to Grade 12.

There are other good reasons to consider a second language for your child. Research shows bilingualism can improve executive functioning, which controls cognitive abilities such as focusing, planning, remembering things and multi-tasking.

Last year, a study from York University found that bilingual children are better at solving problems than their monolingual peers.

But as the world becomes more globalized, a bilingual education certainly won’t hurt when the time comes, post-university, to start the job hunt.

The argument for speaking two languages has much to do with Canada’s policy of bilingualism — fluency in English and French provides an advantage in many workplaces and is a must for public office.

Please read more here.

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