Toddlers and Language

Our infants are the youngest group of children in the Spanish immersion program. They enter this classroom at eighteen months and go to the preschool group when they are prepared in the social, physical and emotional areas. Some leave home to experience this independent environment for the first time, but quickly find a home in the Center. The transition process takes between two to three weeks, if they attend every day and between four and five weeks if they attend only two days a week. At this age, children are in a stage of development in which they begin to communicate verbally. They often use both languages to express their wants and needs during the day. It is wonderful. In their world, objects have more than one name, they feel "triste" or "sad," when they are thirsty they ask for "agua." In fact, learning to speak Spanish at this age is to be native of the Spanish language. Most of the children come from families that only speak English at home. Therefore, our children are native speakers of English as well as Spanish. They acquire their first languages through their interactions with their caregivers, their parents, and us. They are our sunshines!

Nadia Thalassinos