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Foreign Language Classes Should Be Required For Elementary Students

1802 words - 7 pages

There is a rising issue in today’s education system to whether or not we need to require and when the education system should start the second language learning in the school system. Some say that education system should wait until the students have reached high school and others say to start it young. Other school officials have said that they should require it in high school because they’ll remember the language better. Experts say that the education system needs to start it young while the child’s brain is like a sponge. The answer to this question is to simply start the foreign language learning young during their childhood which is why all the state education systems should require a foreign language class during the elementary years of schooling.
When a young child begins to learn a second language it can help him or her mentally. The first important benefit of this is the cognitive (thinking) development of the brain. According to The World Book Encyclopedia, little kids have an increase in capacity to learn and talk a different “Language” without much thought (Wearing 62). According to Kovacs, when children start to learn a second language at a young age and they grow up where using a second language is normal, their brain will have to start to decipher which language to use at a certain time (Kovacs 49). Because of this “Bilinguals may have a language ability that enables them to achieve greater mental flexibility” (Weatherford 2). This is why we should start a second language education early because according to Caccavale, the president of NNELL, “it has been shown to enhance cognitive development. Children who learn a foreign language beginning in early childhood demonstrate certain cognitive advantages over children who do not.’ (qtd. in Abbott et. al. 1). This concludes why “the value of foreign language study … [is] improving the cognitive functioning of the brain” (Weathorford 2). As one can see, starting this education at a younger age will allow the student to be better thinkers, which could lead the child to have greater academic achievement.
Another way that it can help the student is to excel in academic achievement. As stated earlier, knowing when and where to use the other language is very critical in developing the brain. Starting the teaching of a second language when the children are young is the deciding factor to whether or not it will benefit them in the long run. Because children’s brains at a young age are like sponges, The World Book Encyclopedia says that little kids have an increase in capacity to learn and talk a different “Language” without much thought (Wearing 62). A study by Clarkson, a behavioral study scientist in 2006 found that children who knew multiple languages “outperformed monolinguals in a series of tests assessing mathematical ability.” What could be the cause of these students doing better in algebra or other math classes? According to Bialystok, a behavioral scientist found “That they...

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