EDDIE CATZ BLOG

What benefits will my child get from starting to learn a language at an early age?

What benefits will my child get from starting to learn a language at an early age?

There are some clear benefits to any child of learning a foreign language at an early age, many of which are supported not just by the daily experience of language teachers but also by scientific research.

The most obvious effect of early foreign language acquisition is that accent and pronunciation are much clearer and stronger than they are in learners who come to language learning later in life. Mostly, this is because children are at a stage in their development where learning new sounds is second nature, and they are not at all self-conscious about it.

Good accent and pronunciation help build confidence. As learners grow older and become more self-conscious this in turn creates a positive language learning experience. Particularly in teenagers, enthusiasm and ability for language learning can be seen to be greater in those who have had early second language exposure.

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Young children’s brains are still forming and have a high level of plasticity. Neurologically speaking, new connections are continually being made. As the child gets older, this level of plasticity is reduced. Children who have learned a second language demonstrate a higher level of creativity and problem solving than their monolingual counterparts, and perform better in standardised tests.

A second advantage of learning a language with a young brain is that at an early age children are still fully learning the structures and rules of their own language. Their brains have an innate ability to acquire the rules of language and early second language acquisition makes the most of this. Put simply, it is easier to learn a second language at a younger age.

One of the most important aspects of learning a foreign language whilst young is that it helps children to develop empathy for others and a natural cultural curiosity. Through languages children learn to engage with the wider world and to think about the way others might live. Early language learning is a great opportunity for children to begin building a skill that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.

Little Lion Lingo After School French Club at Eddie Catz is an LSS language club for children in school years R, 1 and 2. LSS is a group of freelance language teachers specializing in French and German. We offer language teaching for nursery schools, clubs for primary schools, private tuition for all examinations and adult language courses for conversation or business.

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