Learning foreign languages in primary schools – Yay or nay?

Topic: Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school. 

Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?

Till this day childcare pioneers and specialists have been debating if whether or not introducing foreign languages into primary school syllabuses rather than their second tier education systems more of a boon than a bane. In my opinion, it is the former due to the following reasons.

Firstly, learning foreign languages during the early stages of childhood is proven to actually enhance a child’s cognitive abilities. Moreover, professors of the linguistics field have strongly stated that a person’s spoken language does in fact shape their perception and behaviour. As such, the way German speakers allude to certain situations and circumstances are actually more direct when compared to English speakers due to the certain differences in their respective language fundamentals. Another example can be seen from the way the Japanese, Africans and Dutch speakers describe colour comparison to German and English speakers due to the differences in their respective language vocabulary spectrums. In other words, educating children with foreign languages helps broaden their horizons of a whole new culture and perception of other people of different heritage and ethnicity. Simultaneously, this also teaches young individuals to be more tolerant to the way others think or act as well as how to be more mindful and appreciative to the elements of their surroundings.

Secondly, teaching children languages other than their mother tongues has also shown to successfully train their minds to be more flexible in absorbing information better. This is because studying languages and its literature is as a matter of fact healthy in brain development and stimulation for children while their processing centres are still malleable. Consequently, they become more creative and better at problem solving. Furthermore, it helps them learn at a young age of finer ways to express themselves. This is a skill which would come in handy the sooner it develops in life. Hence, it is better to focus on laying the foundation to intellectual and character development early, as pupils have less major subjects to worry about.

However young minds, as stated before, are still developing and often struggle to concentrate during language classes, especially if they fail to build an interest for that particular tongue, as they deem them irrelevant to their daily routines and lifestyles. In that event, teaching them a foreign patois would be a waste of time if they do not wish to learn or practice its terminology. In contrast to that, it would be more beneficial to secondary school students to have these classes inculcated into their school modules to brighten up their respective curriculum vitaes to apply for better jobs internationally. By right, primary school students should not even be stressing too much on getting higher paying jobs as they would have ample amounts of time before deciding on a particular career path. Rather, they should focus more on their character education and having a happy childhood.

Then again, with good guidance and discipline, early introduction to foreign languages in primary schools does undeniably improve young individual’s cerebral functions and plasticity which concurrently significantly lowers a person’s risks of suffering from neurodegenerative diseases in a long run. If the government can ensure uniform progress and teaching of foreign language classes throughout the nation, it would definitely be better to promote learning foreign languages in primary schools than secondary schools.

 

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