Why some parents choose bilingual education for their children

When the time came for Caroline Parr to send her daughter Hazel to preschool, she chose an approach that has earned some scholarly support but is still rare in South Carolina: bilingual education.

Today there is no hint of Carolina twang in 5-year-old Hazel's voice when she offers her teacher some vegetables from the family garden: "Pepinos y tomates." Native-speaking Spanish teachers at Hazel's school say she sounds like she grew up speaking the language — because she did.

It's long been known that when it comes to learning a language, the earlier the better. And an emerging body of research suggests that young brains like Hazel's are especially open to the sort of re-wiring that makes them bilingual for life.

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