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List of web ressources for our parents--

Bilingualism is now well researched, and specialists abound.  Parents, like teachers, find it helpful to stay current with the latest news.  

Here are some websites that will give you food for thought and practical tips.  While all the ideas presented may not match exactly LIA's vision of immersion, the ideas offerered are complementary.

Your recommendations are also welcome. Please do not hesitate to drop us an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Happy reading!

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Tamera Peters is not only the Director of School Initiatives for TeachBeyond, but she is also the president of the LIA school board.  Her research, insight, and vision have been the framework for the bilingual program development at Léman International Academy.   She is involved in various educational projects in places such as Congo, Germany, Switzerland, Tunisia and Vietnam, and she is also active in raising awareness for human trafficing issues.  Her thoughts on the benefits of bilingual education were published in the Swiss Life article "Tongue-Tied."

Advantages of Speaking Several Languages

            The majority of people in the world speak more than one language. This fact is independent of social class or your level of intelligence. The fear that second language acquisition is too demanding for a normal child is wholly unfounded (Montanari, 2003). Parents considering a bilingual education for their child recognize that there are advantages of learning more than one language early in life. What many don’t realize is that children educated in bilingual programs develop linguistic, cognitive, and social skills that enable them to out-perform their monolingual peers (Bremer, 2007; Baker, 2000; Dalgalian, 2000). Baker (2000: 12) used six C’s to express the advantages of being bilingual.

Six Cs

1.     Communication advantages: Literacy in two languages (Baker, 2007; Cummins, 2000); Wider communication (community, international) (Byram, 2007)

2.     Cultural advantages: Broader enculturation, deeper multiculturalism (Kim, 2005; Brown, 1980; Berry, 2008); Greater tolerance and less racism (Lustig, 2005)

3.     Cognitive advantages: Thinking benefits (creativity, sensitivity to communication) (Cummins, 2000; Dalgalian, 2000; Yoshida, 2008)

4.     Character advantages: Raised self-esteem (Baker, 2000; Baker, 2007); Security in identity

5.     Curriculum advantages: Increased curriculum achievement (Byram, 2008); Ease in learning a third language (Dalgalian, 2000)

6.     Cash and career advantages: Economic and employment benefits (Seeba, 1996; Uber Grosse, 2004)

Early language acquisition in young children stimulates the brain neurons that, if not stimulated, start to degenerate as early as the age of seven. If that part of the brain is stimulated, the neurons make connections that facilitate language learning throughout their whole life (Dalgalian, 2007). Another benefit resulting from the acquisition of a second language is that the child transfers what he has learned linguistically and socially to other areas of his life. For example, when a child is presented with a new concept to learn, he then has several transferable points of reference from which to go, which enables him to understand that new concept more precisely (2007). This transferability also makes the child more flexible and adaptable in new cultural or cross-cultural situations.

Tamera Peters
Director of School Initiatives



Baker, Colin. (2007). A parents’ and teachers’ guide to bilingualism. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Berry, J. W. (2008). Globalization and acculturation. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 32(4), 328-336..

Bremer, P. Benefits of Bilingual Education. Retrieved November 19, 2007, from http://www.oberseebilingualschool.ch/en/index.cfm/treeID/65

Brown, Douglas. (1980). The optimal distance model of second language acquisiton. TESOL Quarterly, 14(2), 157-164. Retrieved March 2, 2009, from JSTOR.

Byram, Michael. (1997). Teaching and assessing intercultural communicative competence. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Byram, Michael. (2008). From foreign language education to education for intercultural citizenship. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Cummins, J. (2000). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Dalgalian, Gilbert. (2000). Enfance plurilingue. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Dalgalian, G. Bénéfices et conditions d’une éducation bilingue [Benefits and conditions of a bilingual education]. Retrieved Mai 22, 2009 from, http://div-yezh.org/spip.php?article599

Kim, Young Yun. (2005). Adapting to a new culture. In W. Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about intercultural communication (375-400). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Lustig, Myron. (2005). WSCA presidential address: Towards a well-functioning intercultural nation. Western Journal of Communication, 69(4), 377-379. Retrieved March 5, 2009, from Pro Quest.

Montanari, E. (2003). Mit Zwei Sprachen Gross Werden [Growing Up With Two Languages]. Muenchen, Germany: Koesel-Verlag.

Seeba, Hinrich, C. (1996). Cultural versus linguistic competence? Bilingualism, language in exile, and the future of German studies. The German Quarterly, 69(4), 401-413. Retrieved March 7, 2009, from JSTOR.

Uber Grosse, Christine. (2004). The competitive advantage of foreign language and cultural knowledge. The Modern Language Journal, 88(3), 351-373. Retrieved March 4, 2008, from JSTOR.