The Benefits of Foreign Language Exposure

Boost Your Child's Brain Power and
Give Them the Passport to Global Citizenship!

Learn about the Benefits of Foreign Language Exposure in Early Childhood!

At Carousel of Languages, our mission is to provide our youngest generation with the intellectual stimulation and educational advantage gained through early exposure to more than one language, nurturing every child to their fullest potential.

Our philosophy and methodology are research-based and rooted in two decades of classroom success!

Founder Patrizia Saraceni Corman grew up in Italy and the USA. Like many parents who were raised in a bilingual environment, beginning her son’s foreign language exposure in infancy was instinctive and important. Patrizia had first-hand knowledge of the personal and professional benefits of a multilingual and multicultural background.

Many families come to Carousel for exactly this reason. They recognize the advantages of bilingualism from their own experience, and also value language study for the way it helps connect children to their cultural heritage.

But whether or not you grew up speaking more than one language, in addition to instilling a sense of global citizenship and the beauty and value of cultural diversity, there are so many research-driven reasons to introduce your child to another language—right from the start!

Maybe you’re wondering how early to begin. Should you really take your newborn or toddler to language class?

Drawing particularly on the work Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl, Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences and Co-Director, Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences, University of Washington, and a wonderfully informative article written by our own Neurolinguistics expert Evgeniya Maryutina, Russian teacher at Carousel and member of our Curriculum Team, here’s an overview of the benefits of early exposure to foreign language.

Benefits of Early Exposure to Foreign Languages

Carousel Teacher and Linguist, Evegeniya Maryutina

Studies in brain development indicate that early exposure to more than one language builds a more powerful brain by boosting synaptic connections. In other words, it increases the information pathways in the brain.

The most sensitive period for language acquisition is the first 5 years of life, especially the first 3 years. Exposure to a second language during this window produces the best possible outcomes for full, native-quality acquisition of a second language.

A baby is born with about 100 billion neurons—roughly the number of stars in the Milky Way. In the first three years of life, synapses, the connections between those neurons, are formed at a rate of 700 to 1000 per second, peaking at two to three years of age when there are about 15,000 synapses per neuron. Synapses are created through every experience and interaction a baby has.

During the first year of life, a baby’s brain exhibits exceptional neuroplasticity. This means the infant brain is extremely pliable—its architecture is molded and shaped by experience. It is vital to offer your child a wealth of positive experiences and interactions during this period. Smile, talk, read, cuddle, play, sing, dance! This lays the foundation for learning—developing attention, cognition, and memory; social-emotional, sensory, and motor skills; as well as language and future literacy.

The first year of life is a window of unique language learning ability! In fact, babies from 0-12 months have a special gift of being able to distinguish all the sounds—about 800!—that make up all the languages in the world. For this reason, scientists like Dr. Kuhl call infants “citizens of the world.” By their second year however, children begin to become “culture-bound listeners,” able to discern only the sounds of the language they hear most often.

Foreign language exposure in infancy increases and extends phonetic awareness. It accelerates speech development, improves listening skills, and enhances future literacy.

But here’s something extremely important! To learn language, infants require positive, loving social interaction—talking, singing, reading, cuddling, playing, and looking at a real person’s face. These are key factors in the brain-shaping process.

Apps and videos can be helpful tools when age-appropriate, but passive screen time does not offer the same language acquisition benefits to very young children.

Carousel’s celebrated program is built on this research.

Carousel Teaching System®, our full-immersion curriculum, emphasizes the importance of multisensory learning through verbal, visual, and tactile association; it fosters core areas of child development, and is aligned to the highest standards in early childhood education.

Our classes maintain a nurturing and playful atmosphere, where every detail of the learning environment and each of our exquisite teaching materials is specifically designed to engage the senses of a young child and inspire curiosity.

We sing, dance, make art, play games, laugh, welcome questions, and encourage exploration. 

Carousel Online Lessons faithfully recreate our signature warm, engaging, multisensory approach, and offer vital frequency and consistency with brief, age-appropriate sessions, multiple times per week.

Most importantly, each child is known individually, loved and cherished by their teachers.

Our Founder, Patrizia, chose a carousel to represent the program because it is an iconic childhood amusement, a symbol of wonder and delight. Giostra, the Italian word for carousel or ride, is also an expression meaning a beautiful abundance. That’s what we have at Carousel—a beautiful abundance of languages, children, teachers, cultures, and joy.  

As Patrizia has always said, “The greatest measure of our success is joyful children engaged in an enchanting, immersive learning environment, embracing the beauty of different languages and cultures.”

We invite you to discover our world of languages and open your child’s doorway to global citizenship!