Sunny Park-Johnson, Ph.D

Assistant Professor, DePaul University

Bilingualism in Early Childhood: The Impact of Spanish Immersion Education

In this session, we will uncover the impact of Spanish immersion preschool for early second language learners and heritage speakers of Spanish on language development.

MEET Sunny Park-Johnson, Ph.D

Multilingualism is becoming increasingly valued in today's society; however, there are still many myths and misunderstandings about childhood bilingualism (e.g., will my child become confused having to learn two languages at once?). In particular, parents and educators fear that teaching students in a language other than English will contribute to loss of English. As a linguist, teacher educator, parent, and bilingual myself, I have both seen and experienced these negative attitudes toward bilingualism in both my professional and personal spheres. My research in a Spanish immersion preschool addresses some of these concerns and shows the remarkable growth, ingenuity, and proficiency these young students are able to demonstrate. I am an assistant professor of Bilingual-Bicultural Education at DePaul University. My research areas include early second language acquisition, bilingualism, and code-switching.