Parents are increasingly paying bilingual tutors, au pairs and tuition for private immersion schools to give their young children a head start in foreign-language instruction that most public schools don't introduce until the later grades. At the same time, however, "It's not realistic to expect a child to speak a language after 30 hours of instruction over a school year when they spend their first two years of life without saying a word," said Yolanda Borrás, whose private program offers multilingual music lessons.

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