Benefits of Language Immersion Education

Studies show that language immersion and bilingual education may have several advantages. How those superlatives materialize may differ from student and program, but the gain could open new worlds of opportunities.

Core Benefits

Academic Achievement

Academic

Can lead to stronger academic performance and higher test scores.

Cognitive

Cognitive

Fortify mental focus, self expression, and problem solving.

Culture

Cultural

Foster empathy, perceptivity, curiosity, and contextual understanding.

Career Readiness

Career

Unlock unique career pathways, many with high earning potential.

“Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going.”

Rita Mae Brown

Author and Activist

1. Academic Achievement

Test Scores

Studies show a positive correlation between foreign language study and SAT and ACT achievement.

Academic Performance

Studies show a positive correlation between foreign language study and measurably higher academic performance, independent of socioeconomic background. Fluency doesn’t need affluence!

Reading Ability in English

Young children in a 2001 study demonstrated a positive correlation between learning a second language and heightened linguistic awareness in their primary language.

Scientific Thinking

Bilingual students in a 1980 study outperformed their monolingual peers in formulating scientific hypotheses.

2. Cognitive

Memory Skills

Better memory skills at a variety of age levels

Spatial Reasoning

Improved spatial and also verbal abilities

Problem Solving

Greater ability in social problem-solving.

Focused Attention

Greater ability to focus and control attention on cognitive tasks

3. Culture

Cultural Appreciation

The ability to connect to and appreciate people from other cultures

Communication

The ability to communicate with a wider range of people

Positive Cultural Attitudes

Positive attitudes toward native speakers of the immersion language and other languages.

Enriched Travel Experiences

The ability and willingness to explore other cultures through travel.

4. Career

Marketable Skills

More employers want to hire bilingual employees, even for jobs that don’t require multiple languages.

College Acceptance

Bilingual students may have an edge over other college applicants

Higher Earning Potential

Higher occupational status and earnings

Global Marketplace

More and more jobs require knowledge of a second language.

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Flexible Thinkers

People who are bilingual experience the world around them differently. Different languages address certain concepts differently, like time and distance. For example, in English, time is referred to as a linear distance—you say “It’s been a long week.” In Spanish, time is referred to as a quantity: “What a small vacation!” What does this mean? One linguistics professor suggests that people who are bilingual may be more “flexible thinkers,” giving them a greater ability to learn, multi-task, and generally support mental well-being.

What's Your Next Step in Exploring Language Immersion?