We have all heard that children have a much easier time learning a second (or third) language than adults do—and if you have seen how fast kids pick up vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, you know it's true! If you, your spouse, or a grandparent speaks another language to your child, having that reinforced in a community setting can increase vocabulary and exposure to different accents. Or perhaps there is no second language in your home, and you would simply like to give your child the gift of a second language. You may even want to prepare your child to attend one of LA's bilingual elementary schools. Language immersion preschool is a great way to go. (We know some great language immersion preschools in Orange County, too!)
While some preschools may offer an extra class in a language (often after the normal day), immersion programs use the language for part or all of the day, presenting the language in a natural manner and using it for the curriculum. The earlier children begin learning a language, the more likely they are to think naturally in that language, which is the ultimate goal of any language program.
Spanish, French, Mandarin, Russian
2387 Malcolm Ave,
Los Angeles CA 90064
Worldspeak has been operating a preschool since 2000 and also runs after-school language programs at many area schools. The preschool program has half- and full-day options, with 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-day/week options. Full-day students often experience two languages, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. All teachers are native speakers. After-school and Mommy and Me programs are also offered.
Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese
Culver City Montessori
11269 Washington Blvd
Culver City 90230
Culver City Montessori offers immersion programs in Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. Classes are taught in the immersion language in the morning, and then in English in the afternoons. Art, dance, music, and field trips are also art of the traditional Montessori curriculum. All programs are 5 days per week, with extended day, full day, or half day options. Choosing two languages is also an option, as is a full English program.
Language Garden Preschool
1067 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles 90019
Language Garden is a developmental preschool offering full immersion in Spanish or French—or both! A guided daily activity (new each day) provides exposure to new experiences. Full- and half-day programs are available. If you want your child to be exposed to both languages, this typically requires one class Mon, Wed, Fri and the other Tue, Thu. See the website to register for an upcoming tour.
2705 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica 90405
Kigala offers 3-6 year olds full- and half-day options for 2-5 days per week. Parents are encouraged to choose either German or Spanish, and all morning programs are in that language. For full-day students, the afternoon brings the classes together for the English program—but German and Spanish are spoken by the respective teachers. Attending only the afternoon program is also a half-day option. German and Spanish toddler classes (ages 2-3) are from 8am-12pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Ecole Claire Fontaine
352 Westminster Ave
Claire Fontaine offers a full French immersion preschool and kindergarten for ages 2–6. All teachers are native speakers and speak only French to the children, and a weekly Spanish class is part of the curriculum. Music, dance, and art are all integral parts of the day. Hot lunch is prepared in-house with fresh organic ingredients. Full day and half day classes are available.
Lycée International de Los Angeles
preschool offered at Los Feliz, Pasadena, Tarzana, and OC campuses
818.994.2961, see website for each campus address and phone
Lycée International offers preschool thru 12th grade, with five campuses in the Los Angeles area (four offer preschool; Burbank is a middle and high school only). Preschool is a full French immersion program, and the school prefers that students begin the program in preschool for the best transition. High schoolers sit for both the International Baccalaureate and French Baccalauréat exams; it seems so far away when looking at preschools, but if these exams are important to you, now is the time to look at your options!
Tivoli Rainbow Garden
4051 Tivoli Avenue
Los Angeles 90066
This home-based preschool offers three German days and two English days each week. Gardening, yoga, cooking, music, art, and seasonal festivals are all part of the play-based program. Half-day and full-day options are available, and children may attend two, three, or five days per week.
Kinder Circle Preschool
11827 Venice Blvd
Los Angeles 90066
This brand-new immersion program is enrolling its first class in fall 2013. The play-based curriculum serves children ages 2–5. The program begins as five half-days per week, with plans for additional options as the school grows. Private tours of the facility are currently being offered.
Bubbles n Colors
2147 Selby Ave
Los Angeles 90025
Bubbles n Colors offers a non-competitive Spanish immersion environment where children gain confidence and develop a love of learning. At this small home-based preschool music, art, dance, and storytime, as well as plenty of free play, fill the children's days. Yoga is offered two days per week. Half- and whole-day options are available. Breakfast, snacks, and lunch are all homemade.