For years it was thought that learning foreign language is getting more and more important because of the globalization. In order to acquire a new language as soon as possible, amounts of parents would like to let their children begin to learn new languages in kindergarten. There are many positive effects if people learn foreign language when they are young children. Even though adults have advantages in learning new languages as well, children learning language easier than adults is still a common thing. This essay examines firstly that obtaining a new language benefits children increase their critical thinking skills and children are good at imitating native pronunciation then considers the advantage about adults learning additional language followed by the drawback of children learning new language in kindergarten.
First of all, learning foreign language in kindergarten benefits young children to enhance their brains. Catherine Ford mentioned that the brain can been seen as muscle, the more exercises it does the better it functions, (2014). Every part can be trained even human brains. Take athletes as an example, every athletes need to do the exercises to build up their muscles, seems like the more exercises they do the stronger they are. However, they begin their sport area probably when they are teenagers. One thing should be known that human brains is the first part begin to strengthen, so it is a strategic decision to begin foreign language instruction in kindergarten. Moreover, young children do not need to learn difficult words in kindergarten, which makes these children are more interested in new language without any pressure. Basically children are always interested in fresh things, so they would like use what they have just learnt, which helps them to memorize new language words.
It is clear to see that children could obtain a new language when they play soma games in kindergarten with their peers. Some pupils are rebellious when they grow up, so it is a good chance to teach them language when they are in preschool. In addition, young children are really good at imitating native pronunciation, which is also an extremely crucial reason. ‘Children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are much more likely to have native-like pronunciation’ (Baker, F n.d.). Compare to the adults who learn foreign language, it is well known that adults have experienced how to learn a language, but they always use the origin language pronunciation to learn foreign language. There are different grammars in different languages as well, so using the same way to learn new language wastes time sometimes.
Another thing is that adults cannot only learn some simple words, because when they have a conversation with someone else they need to know many vocabularies of different aspects. All of these words’ pronunciations need to be memorized, which is a tough question for adults. Although children have to learn more words then adults when they grow up, they can still deal with it because they have already learnt the foundation of the language and made steady progress step by step. Perhaps it can be seen that children learn new language more easily than adolescence. On the other side, it should be doubted that the ability of adults to obtain a new language is weaker than the one of children. Basing on the word from Mo Costandi ‘The brain’s neuroplasticity decreases with age, but this shouldn’t put off older learners.’ (2014).
Although the brain of an adult is different than the brain of a child, which is totally developed and might become more mature and more ineradicable toward aged issues even more resistant to a new thing. Human are never too old to learn, the ability of brain is immeasurable, scientists believes that the brain is a highly dynamic structure, which changes itself in response to new experiences, and adapts to injuries. (2014) Comparing to children, with large lives experience, adults can learn a new word by searching a relevant memory, that is the reason why learning a new language’s vocabulary is much easier for adults than learning the grammar and syntax. While without enough experience, children are difficult to understand a new word. Moreover, learning a new language is good for the health of the brain, some research suggested that pick up a second language can decreased the change to get a senile dementia for older learner.
Secondly, children learn foreign language could forget their first language. It means if young children learn second language and practice with their partners for a long time, the mother language could be forgotten. ‘Research has shown that it is important to develop a child’s first language literacy before introducing a second language’ (APEC 2006). In this aspect, adults do it better than preadolescence, because they have used their mother languages for several decades. This research shows that human can have a deep memory with the languages what have been used for many years. By the way, if foreign languages are provided in kindergarten or preschool, most of children probably are going to lose their own mother languages. Sometimes languages could be seen as cultures.
Part of parents would like to see their children studying foreign language in kindergarten only because they want to make their children have more advantages than children’s competitors in the future. However, these children’s foreign languages could not better than native speaker’s, and they lose their countries’ cultures. All of these illustrate children begin to learn foreign language in kindergarten is not suitable. It has been seen that, learning foreign language in kindergarten brings children not only the increase of critical thinking, but also the development of imitating skills.
However, younger children could get more pressure when study extra language course and adults have experienced how to learn a language. Statistics show that there is still an increase in children learning a new language. More research needs to be carried out on implications of this trend for children learning foreign language with making their minds more creativity and flexibility.
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Ford, C 2014, ”Children should start learning languages at age three”, The Telegraph, 10 October, viewed 05 March 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/11151726/Children-should-start-learning-languages-at-age-three.html
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