AP Language and Composition
Mrs. Laurie Edminster
Foreign Language at a Younger Age
Imagine you are sitting in a classroom full of people who are bilingual, but you are the only one who cannot speak another language except your own. What do you do? Are you going to try and communicate? Or wonder why you did not take the foreign language classes that might have been available to you during your earlier years of education? The key words here are, “might have been available.” Some schools may not have foreign language added to their curriculum, but it should be added because it would be an excellent opportunity for students to be better educated. But what grade level would be most effective in accomplishing this goal? The younger students would benefit more from learning a foreign language; being so young, their minds are more capable of absorbing the information. “…Time Magazine suggested that foreign language should be taught to children as early as possible” (Robert D. Peckham). Elementary school students should have foreign language added to their curriculum because there are multiple benefits to early exposure in the primary grades.
Having been proven throughout history, younger learners are more adept to language acquisition. Although some may think “…their minds aren’t capable of learning and retaining a foreign language, it’s enough of a struggle for a child to learn one language, a native language…” (Should foreign...). It may not be easy to learn, but in actuality it will help their brains develop gradually, not only helping them in their foreign language studies, but also improving other areas as well. Cheryl Walker states this clearly, saying foreign language, “…increases listening ability, creativity, and critical thinking-all of which are thinking processes that increase learning in general.”
Along with an increase in the child’s thinking process, learning another language also supports subjects such as history, science, and language arts (Walker). When absorbing a large amount of information the students are forced to move at a faster pace, but in the long run, “studies have shown that children who speak multiple languages learn more material faster” (Should foreign…) making learning something new easier in general. Being taught a foreign language earlier on, having this faster pace, encourages students to continue expanding their knowledge through middle and high school. When putting all of this together, “the Effect of Second Language learning on test scores Intelligence and Achievement improve greatly” (Robert D. Peckham). Testing scores, for the majority, greatly improve. Whether it would be in elementary school or even if one takes the language in high school for example, statistics show that they score better on the SATs, more so, on the verbal portion. All in all, the child as a whole will come out well educated and prepared to take middle and...