A new intergenerational scheme has been unveiled this month, in a bid to improve the emotional wellbeing and development of youngsters in early years settings and care home residents, while also teaching them a second language.
The new programme, run by children’s language learning franchise Kidslingo, is called Kidslingo Together and sees care home residents and children in early years settings learn French or Spanish together. It aims to improve emotional and physical wellbeing for everyone and encourages interaction between generations by using an exciting mixture of music, games, Makaton, role-play, drama and storytelling.
The benefits of learning a second language are well documented and include positives like structural brain improvements and an increased ability to prioritise and problem solve. But aside from these plus points, Kidslingo Together offers children key life skills, such as improving their understanding of other generations and giving them a sense of history and perspective.
A number of studies show that learning a new language can build up cognitive reserve and delay the onset of dementia. It has also been suggested that increased social interaction is linked to a lower risk of disease among the elderly, and that it can help reduce the negative effects of social isolation.
Kidslingo Founder and CEO, Anna Neville, said: ‘After a successful pilot scheme, we’re proud to now fully launch Kidslingo Together. The programme aims to improve interaction across all generations, while enhancing the emotional and physical wellbeing of everyone involved.
‘Not only is there a huge amount of evidence to show that learning a new language can stave off the onset of dementia, it’s even been documented that social interaction can lower disease among the elderly.
‘It’s not just the older generations who reap the benefits of the scheme. The children love hearing about the victories and adventures of the older generations and the classes introduce them to a learning environment they might not usually experience. They’re also encouraged to be more patient and open minded, which are key life skills.
‘It isn’t just about learning a new language – it’s also about learning through the generations and about caring for each other, whatever your age. This is the kind of thing that really has the power to change society and create a real community feel.
‘We’re already making waves across the country in early years settings and getting really positive reports from educators, parents and care homes. If you’re interested in taking part in Kidslingo Together, please do get in touch.’
As part of the scheme, childminders, parents and whole nursery classes can attend a residential home, or members of the community can sign up to sessions. For more information on how you can take part in Kidslingo Together, please email: email@example.com.
Support from PACEY