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The benefits of language immersion for children




Kindergarteners Bryden Musgrove, left, and Gemma Gomez take part in a writing exercise in Mandarin at Eugene Field Elementary, a dual immersion school in Pasadena, on Thursday morning, May 28, 2015. Kindergarten students at the school spend 90 percent of their day learning subject areas in the Mandarin language.
Kindergarteners Bryden Musgrove, left, and Gemma Gomez take part in a writing exercise in Mandarin at Eugene Field Elementary, a dual immersion school in Pasadena, on Thursday morning, May 28, 2015. Kindergarten students at the school spend 90 percent of their day learning subject areas in the Mandarin language.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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 The number of dual language immersion schools in Southern California is growing. The schools teach kids as young as kindergarten-age in a language other than English.

Southern California Public Radio's Deepa Fernandes has the story of the Gomez family. For the past 12 months, their now 6-year-old daughter, Gemma, has been learning Mandarin.

It's apparent that Gemma Gomez really took to Mandarin. But what are the benefits for young kids being immersed in a dual language program? Kris Nicholls, president of the California Association for Bilingual Education, explains more in the bonus audio above.