The following is an essay submitted by one of our readers.
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 disadvantages?
It is thought by some experts that learning a foreign language when children are in their pre-school age instead of secondary level is more beneficial. I think that learning a foreign language at an early stage can bring about more benefits than disadvantages for children.
Firstly, students can develop better understanding of other cultures by learning their language. This helps them to break the barrier of communication when they prefer to continue their studies abroad. Secondly, learning a language other than their mother tongue will help them in their job hunt. For instance, most of the job interviews, nowadays, are conducted in English. Therefore those who are fluent in this international language can find jobs easily. Thirdly, preschool age is the best time to imbibe a language.
Admittedly, there are some issues involved while children learn a foreign language. One problem is that students and their parents give more importance to that language than their own dialect. Take, for instance, the case of children studying in international schools. They rarely concentrate on their mother tongue and as a result they don’t have good reading or writing skills. However, this situation is rare, only happening to certain students. Another negative aspect is that children prefer to study in such schools that teach other languages regardless of the money they need to spend. This leads to fewer admissions in ordinary schools causing them to close down. This can affect children from poor financial background.
In conclusion, the critical benefits that children gain by learning a foreign language will stand them in good stead when they become adults and clearly outweigh any disadvantages.