In some countries, schools are teaching foreign languages for primary school children. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
Over the last decades, multilingual competence has become increasingly important due to globalization. In many countries, foreign languages are now being taught at primary school. From my perspective, the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages.
Admittedly, learning foreign languages early might be disadvantageous to children’s development. In most primary schools, children have to learn/ study not only foreign languages but also their mother tongue and other academic subjects such as math, literature and art. They might get bored or be stressed out if they have too many language classes.
However, I believe the benefits of teaching foreign languages at primary school are greater. Younger children can learn foreign languages faster and more effectively when they start early. It has been scientifically proven that the brain of children aged under 10 can acquire/ absorb language more easily than adolescents and adults. This means that they can master these languages earlier. Furthermore, starting to learn foreign languages early can help young people gain insights into other cultures around the world. When children know another language, they can read books and watch movies in this language and understand more about native speakers’ way of life. Children with strong cultural awareness (deep cultural understanding) are more likely to become global citizens, access better employment opportunities and lead a more fulfilling life.
In conclusion, although learning foreign languages at primary school might be stressful for children, I believe the advantages are far more significant. Schools should adopt modern teaching methods to make language learning easier and more captivating.
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