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Taking Advantage Of One’s Early Years: Learning A Second Language

1390 words - 6 pages

Being able to fluently speak two languages is a very demanding and competitive skill. The capability to articulate thoughts to people who may not speak the same primary language as you is very profitable not only in the work force, but also in everyday life. Learning a second language also helps to shorten cultural gaps between different countries. With the seemingly increased importance in learning a second language, schools nationwide have implemented learning a foreign language as a requirement, for graduation in High School. However, starting to learn a second language in kindergarten is the most effective and beneficial practice in leading a child on the path to fluently speaking another language. This practice is more effective and beneficial on the grounds that children learn faster and more easily during their first years of life, it produces a higher quality of creative thinking and also cognitive development.
From the day a child is first born and is able to open their eyes, they are immersed into the world around them. Most babies will see the smiling expression on its mothers face and be able to mimic the action. This carries on into the toddler stage when kids quickly pick up different actions from various sources. Most children have mastered certain skills like knowing how to use the bathroom on their own, recognizing certain colors, asking direct questions and even relating a simple experience they have had lately, during this stage. Studies support that children aged one to five years old have the ability to learn a high capacity of knowledge. Due to this theory, learning a second language starting in Kindergarten is very effective. If done properly a child would be able to learn a proficient amount of another language while still becoming more articulate in their primary language as well. A child would not see learning a different language as a daunting task if teaching is transformed into songs, games and creative activities that keep them engaged and having fun while learning. Dr. Susan Curtiss, a Linguistic professor for UCLA, stated “The power to learn a language is so great in the young child that it doesn’t seem to matter how many languages you seem to throw their way....They can learn as many spoken languages as you can allow them to hear systematically and regularly at the same time. Children just have this capacity.” (Curtain & Dahlberg 2004) The statement made by the professor explains how children have the sufficiency to learn as many languages as taught. Also the linguist produces an underlying logical argument in their statement, suggesting that, because the power to learn in a young child is so great, it must be taken advantage of.
Some people disagree with the belief that children have the capacity to learn or acquire language faster than adults. In Antonio Graceffo’s article, Children Learning Languages faster than Adults: The Argument Continues in Vietnam, he refutes the notion that children indeed learn...

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