BC: 2010 Senior Thesis
FC: (Cindy Lee) | Foreign Language | Education -an early start
1: It's As Easy As A-B-C | Why an Early Start? | Introducing foreign language education in elementary school increases language proficiency, academic development, and open-mindedness to foreign cultures.
2: Language Proficiency
3: Introducing foreign language education in elementary school increases language proficiency. “Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time devoted to language study and the language proficiency that the students attain (Curtain & Pesola, 1988)” (sited in Curtain). Therefore, an early start will likely guarantee a certain level of proficiency in the foreign language that the individual learns. Also, young brains tend to be able to adapt to new concepts better, facilitating the learning of a foreign language.
4: My Observations
5: From teaching young children (ages 3-5) at a Korean school, I was able to realize that early foreign language education can be a huge benefit in achieving proficiency.
6: Academic Development
7: An early start in foreign language education not only increases proficiency in a new language, but also triggers the brain to use different methods of learning, which enhances academic development. “‘Foreign language study necessitates the acquisition of new learning strategies because it is foreign; basic to preparation for a changing world is the development of abilities to meet new challenges’(p.6)” (cited in Curtain). Also, learning a foreign language has positive effects on various learning abilities, such as listening skills, memory, and critical thinking. Furthermore, since foreign language is a completely new concept to young children, the learning process of a foreign language also triggers divergent thinking skills and allows for the children to develop many ways to perceive situations and different concepts.
8: My Observations
11: Introducing foreign language education in elementary school increases open-mindedness to foreign cultures. Children are less judgmental and more open to other languages and cultures. “They are more interested in learning about the world around them and more enthusiastic about cultures; this helps lead to a more positive, tolerant attitude, particularly toward the culture and country whose language they study” (Foreign Language Study). Also, children have a wider variety of ways they perceive the world compared the more developed minds of the adolescents or adults. Therefore, children who have started foreign language education at a young age will be able to benefit from open-mindedness to the world and all the cultures within.
12: An Early Start in foreign language education is important.
13: My Observations
14: Opposing Viewpoint
15: Individuals who receive foreign language education in high school and on can reach the same level of proficiency as those who start in the elementary school.
16: Argument 1: The factor that actually affects the achievement of proficiency is not the length of the study of the language; rather, it is the teacher and his teaching method that affect a child’s achievement of proficiency.
17: Response: Although the statement is true to a certain extent, many studies and research show that students who start foreign language education in elementary school take advantage of their learning methods of the teacher, regardless of how good or bad it is. | “It can be argued, therefore, that children who begin foreign language study in elementary school, and who continue such study for a number of years, have a better chance of developing a high level of foreign language proficiency than do students whose foreign language instruction begins in the post elementary school years” (Curtain).
18: MY SCHOOL BUS
19: Argument 2: An early start in foreign language education can interrupt a child’s core education, causing confusion between his native language and the foreign language he is being taught.
20: Response: The methods of teaching and learning a foreign language involve many different thinking skills that allow the students to develop different ways of thinking and performing tasks. “When done right, foreign language instruction uses themes that support the elementary curriculum including math, science, social studies and language arts” (Walker 1). This shows that an early start in foreign language education has academic benefits.
22: Way to go!
23: Argument 3: Individuals who begin foreign language education in high school and on are able to achieve the same level of proficiency as those who start in the elementary school.
24: By The Yard It May Be Hard... But By The Inch It's A Cinch!
25: Response: Although this may be true for grammar and writing, this is certainly not true in terms of speaking, pronunciation, and syntax. Because those who start in the elementary school are a lot more familiar and less awkward with the natural pronunciation and spoken form of the foreign language, it is far better to begin earlier for higher levels of proficiency overall.
26: An early start in foreign language education is more beneficial in achieving a high level of proficiency in the language, advanced academic development, and open-mindedness to foreign cultures.
27: Works Cited Campbell, Russell N, et al. "Foreign Language Learning in the Elementary Schools: A Comparison of Three Language Programs." EBSCO. EBSCO, 2002. Web. 16 Oct. 2010. Chen, Grace. "Benefits of Foreign Language Education." Public School Review. Public School Review, 21 June 2008. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.