Research tells us that young children have an extraordinary capacity to absorb another language. Experts estimate that by age 8-12, humans have already lost the ability to hear and say new sounds. Young brains are innately designed to acquire language. By taking advantage of the window of opportunity that exists between birth and adolescence, you allow your child to optimize his or her learning potential and speak the second language with a native accent. In addition to this benefit, studies show that young children who learn a second language enjoy many additional cognitive benefits, such as enhanced problem-solving skills, enhanced spatial relation skills, and heightened creativity. When children feel safe, comfortable, and enjoy their environment, they absorb their surroundings and learn naturally, without even realizing it.
Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool uses an exclusive preschool curriculum program created internally by our staff. The curriculum features three main themes each month including the season and the study of a Spanish-speaking country. Each of them offers a variety of hands-on opportunities for exploration. While being immersed in the Spanish language and culture, the children are also continually reinforcing their knowledge of letters, numbers, colors, and shapes through songs, stories, science, games, and play. Our teachers have vast experience with preschoolers from their home countries and are encouraged to use those experiences to add to the curriculum and classroom experience. Each classroom, no matter what age group, adheres to a wholly Spanish immersion environment with no English spoken.
Many parents ask this question and the answer is simple: Mis Amigos is just like a “regular” preschool except that everything we do is spoken in Spanish! Similar to English-speaking preschools, our daily schedule includes things like circle time where we share in common experiences and discuss activities for the day and activity time when students develop fine motor skills and prepare for kindergarten. We play a lot—inside & outside. We enjoy lots of art projects, songs, games, storytime, and of course, snack time! And we do it all while learning and absorbing the Spanish language. Click here to receive the monthly newsletter from Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool.
Our preschool classes are typically sized at no more than ten children for one teacher at Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool. Depending on the location and the classroom, that may mean that your child is in a class with one teacher and no more than nine other children or it might mean that they are in a larger group with two teachers. Either way, you can feel assured that your child will have a meaningful, varied, and fun learning experience with nurturing, attentive, and experienced educators.
All of our teachers are licensed as preschool teachers by the MN Department of Human Services. All our staff have passed background checks and receive CPR/First Aid training every two years. At Mis Amigos, we are committed to providing quality education for your child. We take great pride in our staff. Our staff are gifted educators and each one brings a different view of the world. Not all of our staff have previous experience teaching young children but we coach them throughout their first 90 days. Most work to get their Child Development Associate certificate within the first year so that they can also become a teacher.
This is one of our most-asked questions at Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool. It is completely understandable for parents to wonder how their child will be able to follow along when they begin in an immersion classroom. Your child will understand what is going on in class and learn Spanish the same way they learned their first language—naturally. Your child’s teacher will communicate with your child in the same ways that you communicated with him or her when they were babies and unable to talk. Your child’s teacher will use lots of gestures and visual prompts including hand and body cues, inflection, and facial signals to make sure all children in the class are able to follow along easily. Your child’s teacher will also utilize stories, songs, games, and play to make clear what is being conveyed. This style of teaching is known as Total Physical Response (TPR) and has been proven very successful in communicating in situations where the language is not understood. Parents are often surprised at how quickly their child catches on to what is being communicated. Young children look at the world with wide eyes, ears, and minds. They notice more than adults do because their brains truly are little sponges! They simply do not have the same inhibitions that adults tend to have about unfamiliar lessons & surroundings. They are natural mimics and have little fear of making mistakes which helps them absorb a second language much more quickly and easily.
This is a very common question from touring families. Families do not need to speak Spanish in order for their children to be successful learners. This is where the process of immersion is especially valuable. Because your child is being spoken to exclusively in Spanish throughout their school day, they are getting enough exposure to the language to grasp and master Spanish without using it at home. Of course, practicing at home or with other Spanish speakers is always helpful, but research shows (and our experience confirms) that children with little or no reinforcement of Spanish at home are just as successful in immersion programs as those with native speakers at home. Moreover, families and caregivers do not need to speak Spanish to have good communication with teachers and other staff, either. We will always speak to parents & caregivers in English.
Since each child is unique in so many ways including language development, it is difficult to quantify exactly how much Spanish a child will retain. However, studies have shown that exposure to a foreign language at a young age does create an advantage in learning a second or third language in adolescence and/or adulthood. So even if your child’s Spanish education ends when they leave Mis Amigos, his or her exposure to and familiarity with the Spanish language will help them “pick it up again” later on. Research tells us that learning a foreign language adds additional cognitive benefits, too, some of which include: enhanced problem-solving skills, enhanced spatial relation skills, and heightened creativity.
Mis Amigos is a private preschool and receives no public funding. Our programming, which was created exclusively for our school internally by our educators and staff, is supported solely by tuition fees.
This is an important question to ask of any preschool that you consider for your child’s education and development. Mis Amigos is just like a “regular” preschool except that everything is done in Spanish! Similar to English-speaking preschools, we are dedicated to educating your child in all ways which include kindergarten preparation and development of fine motor skills as well as social and emotional skills. Much of our skill-building is done through play, both inside and out. We enjoy lots of singing & dancing, art projects, games, reading & storytime, and of course, snacks! And we do it all while learning and absorbing the Spanish language.
We love the community of families in our school, which we like to refer to as our “school family”. We appreciate how diverse our families are and delight in the learning that comes naturally through that. We truly are honored to get to spend time with your children, to be able to witness their brains opening up in new and numerous ways, and we appreciate so much what your children teach us every day.
We try our best to work with a family’s ever-changing needs but it is important for us to continue employ all our staff and to pay all of our expenses throughout the summer. We do offer an option for parents who work at K12 schools and have the summer off. Ask our enrollment specialist for more information.
No, Mis Amigos is not religiously affiliated. We love our spaces that happen to be in churches (because it is important to us to utilize existing spaces). Mis Amigos Spanish Immersion Preschool welcomes families of all faiths and backgrounds and is dedicated to embracing the diversity that makes our world rich.