Three Seattle organizations have joined forces to open the first Vietnamese-English dual-language preschool in the city, and likely the first in the state.
The Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool is scheduled to open this fall near the Mount Baker light rail station and is already accepting applications. The first open house is scheduled for Feb. 28.
The preschool grew out of discussions with Seattle’s Vietnamese community. Many parents were dismayed that their children were growing up without knowing the Vietnamese language and culture, said James Hong, director of operations at the Vietnamese Friendship Association. The association, working with Sound Child Care Solutions and Artspace, decided to open a dual-language preschool to help address that concern.
Some parents worried that young children learning two languages might not master either, Hong said, but “research we looked at … shows it pays off in the end.
“It was exciting for us to learn that a child can learn two languages at the same time and not fall behind,” he said.More