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?
Each child has different abilities with respect to a foreign language. Some might be able to pick it up at junior school while others are ready to learn at high school. Whatever the case, it has become crucial in today’s world to be able to communicate in another language.
A young child’s brain is like a sponge and it can absorb new information easily but at the same time children can forget just as easily. Due to this ability of a young brain to learn fast and without difficulty many parents prefer that their children engage in a foreign language at a young age. Similarly, learning young often means becoming fluent by the time children reach secondary school.
On the other hand, a child at primary school might not be ready to learn a new language considering they have not even mastered their own. This will cause confusion and difficulty particularly if a child is still learning how to read and write in their own language. At secondary school a child is able to appreciate the value of a foreign language more and will be able to understand complex vocabulary and grammar structures that someone at primary school won’t. High school students can also engage in the language more by watching movies or through social networking sites.
The only drawback of starting to learn a new language at high school is that perhaps a teenager’s school program is already overloaded and they don’t have the time to dedicate to a foreign language. Generally, I believe that primary school students are not ready for this challenge.