Learning French early:
We are always amazed to see how the confidence of children can grow; the children will listen at first, then translate our French back into English, and finish by saying the French words in a very natural manner - all this before the age of 4!!!
Children not only learn another language but also learn that it is possible to have 2 words for 1 item (2 solutions for 1 problem!). read more...
We have noticed that the most confident children are the ones who already speak a foreign language at home or who have started a foreign language very early on.
However, learning a foreign language benefits ALL the children, whatever ability they have. We use repetition, short sentences, and Makaton which helps every single child to understand, memorise, and join in; even children with high learning difficulties.
Benefits of learning another language.
More and more articles are writen about the benefits of introducing a Foreign language at an early stage. Here are a few questions answered:
Is it better for my child to learn a language in elementary school?
Our experience has supported studies that show that children who learn a language before reaching adolescence are much more likely to have native-like pronunciation. A number of experts attribute this proficiency to physiological changes that occur in the maturing brain as a child enters puberty. Of course, as with any subject, the more years a child can devote to learning a language, the more competent he or she will become. In any case, introducing children to alternative ways of expressing themselves and to different cultures generally broadens their outlook and gives them the opportunity to communicate with many more people.
What is the advantage to learning a second language at a young age?
Benefits from early foreign language study may include the following:
native or near-native pronunciation. Even if a child’s foreign language learning is interrupted for many years, if he/she began speaking words in the language at a very young age, he/she will likely be able to pronounce that second language with very little or no accent later in life.
improved overall school performance. It has been demonstrated that children with foreign language instruction are able to score higher on standardized tests in English than those who have not studied another language.
superior problem solving and higher order thinking skills. Studies suggest that students of second languages are more creative and better at solving complex problems.
the ability to communicate with more people. Children may use a foreign language around the world through travel or future employment.
early awareness of other world cultures. As the world becomes more diverse, we find ourselves surrounded by numerous languages and cultural events of various ethnic backgrounds. Learning another language at an early age opens a window to diversity as well as cultural understanding and appreciation in this increasingly global society.
Will a Second Language Interfere With My Child’s English Ability?
In most cases, learning another language enhances a child’s English ability. Children can learn much about English by learning the structure of other languages. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. Experimental studies have shown that no long-term delay in native English language development occurs in children participating in second language classes, even in full immersion programs.In fact, children enrolled in foreign language programs score statistically higher on standardized tests conducted in English. A number of reports have demonstrated that children who have learned a second language earn higher SAT scores, particularly on the verbal section of the test. One study showed that by the fifth year of an immersion program, students outperformed all comparison groups and remained high academic achievers throughout their schooling.
Source: US Department of Education - Educational Resources Information Center April 2003
The European Commission thinks learning early is crucial.
Early language learning helps learners develop positive attitudes towards other cultures and languages as well as laying the foundation for language learning in later life. In 2002 the Heads of State and Government meeting in Barcelona called for further action to improve the mastery of basic skills, in particular by teaching at least two foreign languages from a very early age. Click here to read more.