Foreign language instruction should begin in Kindergarten

Topic: “Foreign language instruction should begin in Kindergarten”

In the early states of developing brain, people has equipped with skills to communicate each other with special abilities for understanding and acquiring language. This ability gradually decline over time because people need to develop another skills, which are necessary for survival. Thus, receiving and applying of a new language becomes easier for young children. Moreover, children in this stage have the ability to imitate and copy the new sound correctly, this is convenient for the comprehensive development of the ability to pronounce new words in children.

Learning a second language provides many benefits for children. Children can learn composite things, because they are too young to understand that it is difficult.. Thus, they are able to learn a second language with an easy way. Also, learning foreign language may make their knowledge wider when they become an adult. This will bring a lot of opportunities for children in the future.

On the other hand, many believe that children should not learn foreign language because they will probably use that language most of time, therefore, they might fail to remember their own language. Moreover, children in Kindergarten should be focusing on studying the fundamental abilities which are necessary for them in whole life (e.g. Communication skills, language skills). Foreign language instruction should be delayed until children have developed comprehensively in many aspects of psychology or constitution (at least 4th grade).

This essay seeks to address the following question: Should foreign language instruction begin in Kindergarten? This paper has been divided into three parts. Firstly, why should children start learning a foreign language as soon as possible? The second part deals with how kindergarteners could approach with second language. Finally, the achievement of learning a foreign language at the beginning of life will be clarified.

Nowaday, concerning about studying a foreign language, owning two or more languages which brings many great advantage to people, is becoming a general trend of modern society. Therefore, it comes to the question that should foreign language instruction begin in Kindergarten? Although, some people may disagree, many others agree that children should not wait until they are adult in order to learn a new language. Learning a foreign language as the young age has many advantages for the following reasons. First, the early start learning second language will improve the ability of children to absorb a natural language instead of learning a conscious way the older child or adult would normally do. This will help the child feel comfortable participating in language classes, foreign language will be able to come to a natural child – like native language. Second, learning foreign language assists children smarter. According to a 5-year study of language research center at Cornell, early learning a second language does not affect the intellectual development of the child, as opposed to help children focus better in school when compared with children, who only know their native language. In addition, second language supports vernacular if introduced early and using appropriate methods. Learning a foreign language helps children express their native language grammatically correct, clear, more coherent. Third, when children learn a language through a combination of learning with rewarding games that will create pleasurable for children. Children do not get bored when “just learning to play with my friends”. These activities will assist children sooner confident, bolder when communicating with others and participating in social activities later. That is really the biggest skills will accompany children for the rest of their life.“The mind is much more like a muscle than we’ve ever realized. … It needs to get cognitive exercise. It’s not some piece of clay on which you put an indelible mark.” – James Flynn, The New Yorker, 2012

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Debate continues about how how kindergarteners approach with second language. “In general, there are two ways in which children may learn a second language: simultaneously or sequentially” (McLaughlin et al., 1995; Tabors, 2008). Therefore, schools should create opportunities for children to hear a second language everyday in contexts like native language. Listening skills are extremely important to learn the language. Learning the other language might begin from listening – speaking – reading – writing. Outside school hours, children can watch television, listen to poems, stories, songs via cassettes. Children can also hear foreigners talk by their language. There are a lot of resources (tapes, movies, game software …) for parents to choose for their children.”Learning another language actually enhances a child’s overall verbal development,” – Roberta Michnick Golinkoff Ph.D., author of How Babies Talk.

In addition, children may not understand everything they hear. Intonation, sounds, feelings, words … also helps a lot. Children may not understand the meaning, but we can distinguish this language with the native language and the ability to use speculation to understand main ideas: who are questioning, who are happy. Also, the words are repeated many times with the aid of photographs, contextual help children understand the true meaning of them. They are excellent conditions to learn a foreign language, which is useful for success in the future. Speculate skills help children learn more quickly, including language.

However, some of the questions are given that if kindergarteners learn foreign language too early, they may forget a little bit of their own language or time for entertainment might be replaced by time for learning the second language in them, consequently, foreign language should not be require, but it should be encouraged. For example, there are many schools in the United States delay foreign language training until children enter in higher level (at least 7th grade). However, it will lose the most opportunity to access another language of children. They should be offered many other choices of extracurricular activities or additional classes, which in they could practice constantly foreign language with friends or teachers. Consequently, they could not be taken time from another courses.

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Learning a second language is always a great experience in the life of each person. The first benefit is easy to realize the advantages of foreign language proficiency gives each person while traveling. Contact with the natives, understand and immerse yourself in a new culture even at the most rudimentary level is no longer a far-fetched thing. In addition to the existing benefits, scientists also spent quite a lot of research effort in this regard. According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, who know at least two languages ​​represents a sensible thinking. Learning language at an early age helps maintain mental sanity as they age. This is synonymous with high adaptability to new situations and unexpected. Also, according Psychological research on Sciencestudy, learning languages ​​assists us process words quickly, especially with the word meaning similarities in both two languages​​. By measuring eye movement technique, researchers found that people fluent in two foreign languages ​​could use less time while reading from the same original words, such as “sport” in English and Dutch. This suggests that the brain needs less time to “adopt” the general characteristics. Understanding foreign language helps people to delay the development of Alzheimer’s disease is still no cure and can attack anyone, for about 4 to 5 years. The findings were presented at the 2011 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Moreover, children know two foreign languages ​​better expressed in the test situation or creativity. Research conducted on 121 children with about half of them can speak a language other than their native language. They are required to perform the repeat sequence, problem-solving and simulating colored blocks. The survey showed that processing speed and move from task to another task of the children speak two foreign languages, which are more​ flexible and keen intelligence than the others. Futhermore, the ability to think in another language supports them to make rational decisions for different scenarios. This is a result of research the University of Chicago (USA). According to the researchers, the habit of thinking in another language allow people to make cautious decisions and less sentiment over. Besides, it seems to be the most important impact of a foreign language that it is less affected by emotion than native language. The idea suggests that children should be taught foreign language as soon as they enter in Kindergarten. “The more children learn about a foreign language, the more they understand about their own language.” – Nancy Rhodes, director of foreign language education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C.

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In conclusion, although some parents worry that starting their toddler on a second language will interfere with developing the first language skills, the opposite is actually true. Young children can differentiate between two languages within the first years of life without difficult. Also, learning second language will bring to children and their family these activities and experiences that can develop over time. Otherwise, kindergarteners will find opportunities and new ideas as they adapt to the language learning process. Starting as soon as possible means they are expanding possibilities and opportunities in the future. Therefore, instructing the second language in Kindergarten is really necessary.

“Any child can be developed, it depends on how you do it”
– Shinichi Suzuki.

Reference list:

Reasons Why Children Should Learn Languages As Early As Possible, 2011.

Halgunseth, L (2010) How Children Learn a Second Language, Retrieved on May 17, 2010 from

Advantages of learning a foreign language at an early age, 2011.

Is learning a foreign language good for kids at a young age, 2011.

The Benefits of Learning Language Young, 2013.

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