Foreign Language Acquisition: The Importance of Learning Languages as a Child
Schwartz, Amber Elise
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In the United States, the need for foreign language knowledge is growing as different cultures in our American society work to maintain their own heritage. and thus, their own languages. It is becoming crucial for our children, our means for the future. to have an understanding of more than just their native language. It is significantly easier for a young child in their preschool and elementary years to learn a new language than it is for a middle schooler or adult because young children have not yet filtered through and become acquainted with everything that is of their native language. Due to this, children can more easily learn the sounds and rules associated with a foreign language. Learning a foreign language at a young age will help our children by better preparing them for school as most schools now require some sort of a foreign language program. This understanding of new languages can he achieved by implementing well-developed foreign language programs in our preschools and elementary schools throughout the country. There are drawbacks to learning the native and foreign languages at the same time, including word confusion, delay in the native language learning process and feelings of isolation for the bilingual child. These drawbacks, though, are all minimal in comparison to the benefits of child who is able to speak in more than one language.
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