WHY ALL CHILDREN SHOULD LEARN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Much research and testing has gone into how we all learn anything. It is something as a culture that we are all very interested in. How we learn our own language and how we learn others, is very much in the foreground of these elements, our culture. Researching our own cultures and others provides a strong structure in understanding more – not just about our own development and communication but of others globally too. Why is this important?
Because recent studies show that the best time to learn a language is within the first three to four years of our life and here are some important reasons why young children should be exposed to learning languages at a young age.
The Early childhood news states that children learning a language in the pre school years is vital as this is when children lay down the main learning pathways in their brain. Kotulak states that “During this period and especially the first three years of life, the foundations for thinking, language, vision, attitudes, aptitudes, and other characteristics are laid down. ” Ronald Kotulak is the author of Inside the Brain. If you consider that children at this age are also introduced to Maths and Science through creative play and activities, why should the importance of language learning be considered to be any different.
The following quotes also expand these facts further:
From former Harvard Professor Burton L. White (1994): “Every one of the four educational foundations-the development of language, curiosity, intelligence, and socialness—is a risk during the period from eight months to two years.”
From accelerated learning trainer Tony Stockwell: “To learn anything fast and effectively, you have to see it, hear it, and feel it” (Dryden & Vos, 1997).
And from Jean Houston (1997), author of Educating the Possible Human: “Children can learn almost anything if they are dancing, tasting, touching, seeing, and feeling information” (Dryden & Vos, 1997).
This is why Baguette’s bilingual book range and song Cds are so successful in teaching children languages, as every aspect of the learning features in English, which is considered a global language now and also in French. Every song and book is written by Alison Mcrobbie BA hons who is an experienced language teacher and applied linguist who uses her knowledge of applied linguistics and teaching to ensure that each song is linguistically rich as well as being linguistically balanced. This is reinforced by the patterns in the music which are composed by experienced and professional teachers of music. The patterns in the music and the songs help children to remember the patterns in both the English and the French language, making learning and remembering what children have learnt, for them an easier task which is conceptually appropriate. These elements are then applied in lessons provided by the Leading Languages programme which introduces children in schools, to foreign language learning.
All of Baguette’s books feature a special code too (at the back of the book) for downloadable activities. This allows a child to move and transgress across the different modes of communication, from reading, listening, crafting and drawing to speaking and writing. All of which are necessary forms of internal and external communication functions to learn a language successfully. All the books have audio versions too, to ensure that the correct pronunciation can be heard and learnt. And if that wasn’t enough, there is the FREE sac surprise zone, where children can continue expanding their language again in dual languages by completing Baguette Bear’s amazing Sac surprise cards which aim to consisitently increase a child’s vocabulary range whilst being totally fun.
So if we think back to what Kutulak, Dryden and Vos state, with all these amazing learning resorces from Baguette the bilingual bear, your child will have the opportunity to create a wonder map of inner brain, learning pathways before the age of five. Which can only but give them a head start in language learning. How wonderful is that?
References Kotulak, R. (1996). Inside the Brain. Andrews and McMeel. Dryden, G. & Vos, J. (1997). The Learning Revolution. Auckland, NZ: The Learning Web.Dryden, G. & Rose, C. (1995). Fundamentals. United Kingdom: Accelerated Learning Systems. Early Childhood nEws, (2008), Accessed here: http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=60 Houston, J. (1997). Educating the Possible Human. Quote from The Learning Revolution. Auckland, NZ: Learning Web. White, B. (1994). Raising a Delightful Unspoiled Child. New York: Simon & Shuster.