Immersive Spanish Language Learning

At Allie and Friends, we understand the importance of learning a second language early in life. We understand that learning a second language early can have significant cognitive developmental advantages over those who do not learn a second language and do not learn it early on. So in addition to American English, we also teach Spanish. Spanish is very useful, both here in the United States and abroad. The Spanish language is the second most common language spoken in the United States with about 40 million Spanish or Spanish Creole speakers (US Census Bureau, 2007) and worldwide, there are 470 million Spanish speakers. (Instituto Cervantes, 2015) Also, because the Spanish language is a romance language, it shares similar grammar, word structure and certain consonant and vowel sounds making learning or understanding other romance languages such as French and Italian easier.

Even minimal second language instruction can cause rapid changes. (McLaughlin et al. 2004). Brain activity is significantly different in those who learn a second language and in those who are fluent in only one language. A Japanese study conducted with preschoolers, found that brain activity in children exposed to their second languages, were similar to the brain activity associated with exposure to their primary language. This similarity of activity between primary and secondary languages was something also found in adults with years of exposure to a second language. The studies also showed non-exposure to rare-exposure of a second language induced a decrease in brain activity. (Hidaka et al, 2012) Another study conducted of school aged twin children in Japan showed that even 2 months of training showed increases in brain activities in certain parts of the brain. (Sakai, 2004).


Instituto Cervantes. (2015). El Español: Una Lengua Viva. Retrieved March 06, 2016, from

Language Spoken at Home more information 2014 American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. (2014). Retrieved March 06, 2016, from

McLaughlin, J., Osterhout, L., & Kim, A. (2004). Neural correlates of second-language word learning: Minimal instruction produces rapid change. Nature Neuroscience, 7(7), 703-4. doi:

Sakai, K. L., Miura, K., Narafu, N., & Muraishi, Y. (2004). Correlated functional changes of the prefrontal cortex in twins induced by classroom education of second language. Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y.: 1991)14(11), 1233-1239.