Bilingual program abuzz in San Antonio

    Bee-lingual Bees, a parent-child Spanish learning resource for families gives locals the gift of being bilingual. (Courtesy Photo)

    The Bee-lingual Bees program is creating buzz with their curriculum allowing parents and children to learn Spanish to encourage multicultural awareness.

    Their concept is to cultivate social development in children as well as encouraging diversity, acceptance and understanding between peers. During a session, participants learn about rhythm, patterns, social interaction, language development and problem solving.

    The classes consist of 45 minutes of music and games in Spanish for three to five families to learn between six to ten words or short sentences. The program allows patrons to choose the day, time and place, including their own home. The program will provide all the instruments and materials.

    “Our inspiration came from seeing several families interested in their children learning a second language,” said Liz Davila, Bee-lingual Bees founder. “Some parents were concerned their children weren’t familiar with Spanish. We want to give them the basic foundation so their children can be comfortable when they go to our programs.”

    As of 2015, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S. and 11.6 million who are bilingual, stated Instituto Cervantes in a recent study. This puts the U.S. ahead of Colombia (48 million), Spain (46 million) and second only to Mexico (121 million). The U.S. Census Office estimates that the U.S. will have 138 million Spanish speakers by 2050, making it the largest Spanish-speaking nation on the planet.

    The economic benefit of being bilingual equates to earning almost $7,000 more than English-only speakers. That totals 20 percent more than monolingual individuals.

    Being bilingual also has positive effects on the brain allowing individuals to have a better attention span and can multitask better than monolinguals.

    Being bilingual carries health benefits including the delay of onset Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Other benefits include factors such as a faster stroke recovery and lower stress levels.

    With many bilingual Americans growing in the U.S. and the numerous benefits learning a language carries, Bee-lingual hopes to give the gift of learning a new language to many locals. Although they are currently a mobile business, Davila hopes to grow into an onsite location for more families to join the movement of language.

    “Eventually, we want to be the first option for parents and children,” continued Davila. “I want to continue to allow parents and children to learn at the same time. This allows comfort, bonding and a great learning experience to take away from our classes and our curriculum.”

    Individuals who are bilingual are also generally more open-minded to new experiences, including social opportunities. Bilingual individuals can make friends in more than one language and enjoy different hobbies and activities.

    Additionally, individuals can learn at least two more additional languages more easily that monolingual speakers because language skills reinforce each other.

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