The findings 10BH cites are coming out of the field of educational neuroscience. From frames 25.20-29.48, neuroscientist Dr. Anna Wilson of University of Canterbury, shows research on the positive effects of learning a second language before the age of 5 (which corresponds with when most children enter kindergarten, the official starting point of “grade school”). The research cited showed that learning a second language before age 5 resulted in increased reading performance, phonemic awareness, and grammar skills in both languages.
This research is important to 10BH because approximately 80% of the high poverty children 10BH serves are English Language Learners (ELLs), meaning the primary language spoken in the home is different from the primary language used in school. ELLs generally lack or have weak English language skills at grade school entry, don't speak much English out of school, and in the school district 10BH serves, 91% are below grade level (across California, 81% of ELLs are below grade level).
Once enrolled in 10BH, children spend a full two years from ages 3-5 having weekly 10BH tutoring lessons conducted in English. Lesson content is driven by what the child is intrinsically motivated to learn about and then reinforced in the child’s primary language through learning assignments left with the family at the end of each lesson. This can be viewed as being enrolled in an early education bilingual program – with some twists. Those twists are that 10BH is carried out (1) in the home (2) with the parent (and siblings) present during every lesson, and (3) with the child and parent continuing to reinforce lesson work between lessons in their primary language.
The research referred to in this article does a good job at explaining some of the language and academic gains 10BH children experience regularly. In the short-term, by about 6 months into the program children who were only Spanish speaking upon admission are generally conversationally fluent in English and their Spanish has improved significantly. And, in the long-term, children are performing at and above grade level up to 3 years after graduating 10BH.
It is research like this that may hold promise for explaining many of the innovative aspects of 10BH.