What Age Is the Best for Studying a Second Language?
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Learning a new language at any age is an enormously rewarding experience in many ways. While language learning is an enriching experience for all ages, children have the most to gain from this wonderful adventure. Quite simply, starting early offers the widest possible set of benefits and opportunities.
First of all, while speaking about foreign language, it is important to think about the benefits and possibilities that knowing and gaining this skill might bring to your kid in the future. On the way of making a good career, professionals who are able to communicate in a second or third language are always more desirable since they can embrace additional responsibilities and have more job opportunities. Therefore, starting a foreign language learning as soon as starting learning at school or even earlier is one of necessary things in child`s future preparation. In this sense, it might be crucial to think about the languages that might be more useful to know in the future. For instance, nowadays, in this globalizing world, English plays the most significant role, which is why families all around the world are prioritizing English as one of the most important language to learn.
Secondly, children are not as shy as adults are. Learning a foreign language is often a difficult process. To illustrate, learners often have difficulties with the pronunciation. They frequently do not know how to express their thoughts. Yet, the only way to learn a language is to practice. While adults are ashamed and afraid to make mistakes, children do not mind if they say something wrong or make a mistake and just try again. It is a well known truth, that children learn a foreign language easier and faster than adults do. The mind of a young kid is constructed and structured in a way that they can understand all the stimulus that they get from the world around them. Experts say that children who learn a language before their teenage years are more likely than older learners to achieve native-like pronunciation than those who start later. Furthermore, researches carried out in this field have found that kids have an innate ability to acquire the rules of any language – an ability that disappears by adulthood. There are several reasons of it: one of them is that children have more free time for learning than adults, children do not feel ashamed when they make mistakes or pronounce foreign words incorrectly. Child’s brain is like a sponge or a blank paper , it soaks up everything around really very easily.
The effective way to fasten foreign language learning is to use games in the process of studying as children obviously are more perceptive for such way of learning. So the learning of a foreign language by playing games also makes a foreign language learning easier for young people than for adults. Adults often feel shy in such situations but children do not. They can remember new words quickly by watching videos, cartoons, or looking at the colorful books, pictures and real objects or joining some games. For instance, if we let children get accessed to foreign music and film, although they will not really understand the full meaning of it, their brain has already been adjusted to become familiar with the sounds, therefore these children are highly likely to develop foreign language skills better than those who do not. Furthermore, it is easy for children to imitate.
To them, everything is new, they observe other people and want to repeat accurately. Therefore, when learning a language, they can hear and then repeat words and sentences effectively. This is the basic thing which helps them to have a native-like pronunciation. As a rule, small children are often curious. They will be very excited to know about other children in the world, about what games they play and how they learn. They will try to learn harder as a result of their eagerness. The more they learn, the more interested they will be. However, these advantages can be obtained only if the children are taught with reasonable methods. If the teachers swamp their small students with exercises and homework, they cannot learn effectively or feel interested. It will be better for small children to learn a new language through songs, stories and other activities.
Moreover, Research has shown that, contrary to what many people once believed, bilingualism does not trigger confusion, has no inherent negative impact on children’s development, does not put children at any intellectual or emotional risk. and even has some socio-cognitive advantages. Studies suggest that at a cognitive and academic level, children learning an additional language are more creative, better at solving complex problems and achieve higher scores than monolingual children on a number of cognitive ability tests, including mental flexibility, non-verbal problem-solving tasks, understanding the conventional origin of names and the communication needs of their conversational partners . Once children know a second language, it is easier for them to understand the structures of further languages, which is why experts say that every new language learnt is easier than the one before.
Many children grow up hearing and using more than one language. Some researchers have estimated that the majority of the world’s population use more than one language on a regular basis. At a personal level, the more languages a person speaks, the better access he or she will have to different people and resources from other countries and cultures. Additionally, it helps children to better understand other cultures, expressions and styles of communication. This can encourage children to appreciate how big the world is and will open their mind greatly – which is always a good thing.
To conclude, while some believe that children should not be expected to learn a foreign language so early, I will still follow the statement that children should learn a foreign language as soon as they start school or even earlier. A second language learning is ideal for children because they have the ability to learn more easily at an earlier age, which will benefit them in adulthood. Moreover, learning a second language will stimulate children into learning more about the world outside of where they live. And also it is an obvious fact that the more years are committed to learning a language and the more use of it is made, the greater is the proficiency that will be achieved