Young children learn a second language in the same way they learned their first; naturally, through consistent exposure and frequent interaction with the target language. Their young brains are ripe for picking up new words, forming sounds and are usually much less inhibited to try out new language than their older peers. These advantages support rapid language learning and enhance the benefits of being bilingual.
In pre-kinder, EBI teachers only use Spanish in the classroom. Teachers support non-Spanish speaking students by using signs, gestures, facial expressions, drawings or anything necessary to support understanding and language acquisition. Pre-kinder teachers seldom speak another language unless an urgent matter, related to physical or emotional safety, arrises. Children are always able to respond in their mother tongue and are encouraged to use Spanish as their ability progresses.
Native Spanish-speaking children benefit from Spanish immersion because it reinforces and develops their home language, which can become increasingly difficult to maintain, particularly when there is minimal interaction with the language outside of the home. In this way, native Spanish-speaking children are able to continue to develop Spanish fluency and a solid foundation that will lead to advanced levels in both English and Spanish.