THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LEARNING SECOND LANGUAGE IN Essay Example

  • Category:
    Education
  • Document type:
    Essay
  • Level:
    Undergraduate
  • Page:
    2
  • Words:
    1115

PRIMARY AND PRESCHOOL

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16/06/ 2011

Introduction

Being fluent in two ore more languages during this age and day of the global economy is becoming increasingly desirable. Unfortunately, fond memories of foreign language learning are not a characteristic of many of us. We typically struggle to master foreign languages while in middle school and end it mercifully when we graduate from high school. Actually we would have preferred avoiding those classes during the application to upper level colleges if they were not important for our academic record. It’s noted with a lot of interest that we faced theses difficulties not because of problems that are inevitably inherent in the learning of language but due to public school’s occasional tendency to ignore principles that are fundamental to human development. In the case of foreign language conquering, tackling of a topic that is tough should have not been overstated as it was a badly timed exercise (Michael, 2003).

Thesis statement

This essay will argue that primary and preschool students should learn a second language because these ages could be the most productive ages to learn a second language and also explains different strategies used for the learning a second language.

Reasons for learning foreign languages at the college level

However, there are claims that the learning of second language weakens the first language by confusing the child. The child stops developing the first language when he/she tries learning the second one leading to difficulties in academic process. The learning process becomes unfocused and dilute. Some subjects like math and writing will lack ample learning time. Some children end up shocked such that they can’t communicate.
collegeAnother problem is that the teachers and parents make this decision, rather than the child. Though it might work, the chosen language may never benefit the child. Worse still, if the child prefers a different language, he/she may have to go through the whole process again in (Michael, 2003).

Why it’s effective to learn when young.

It seems clear that people are endowed with a special knack for the learning of language, and there are theories that claim that our brains are wired for picking up grammar, vocabulary and syntax. It is like the human computer comes with pre-installed relevant software. During life’s first years, this wiring is highly efficient and flexible. — Toddlers and infants easily and quiet effectively learn to speak and understand any language at their disposal, whether it is Portuguese or Japanese, Swahili or Swedish, Farsi or Flemish. When children learn at an early age, their cognitive development is enhanced. Children learning different languages in their early childhood portray certain cognitive advantages compared to those who do not (Duke gifted, 2007. Paragraph 4). A research by an education analyst showed that foreign language study, «particularly when introduced in the early elementary years of school,» associates with three additional advantages of «higher achievements in other areas of academic, increased cognitive skills, and test scores that are highly standardized. (District Administration, 2006. Paragraph 4).

When exposed to two languages, young children manage to pick up, both with absolutely no problems. Although reaching the development of standard language milestone may be slow, they usually attain fluency in both tongues by the third birth day in the presence of appropriate role models. They have the capability of switching back and forth with absolutely no signs of confusion or stress (Michael, 2003).

It’s regrettable that this extraordinary efficiency and flexibility fades as one ages. It’s evident that the brain wiring grows rigid after a while, so that it becomes ardtious working with other systems apart from the pre-installed ones as years pass. No strict rules apply in humans, since some people are able to carry the capacity of easy and quick language learning into adulthood. Most of us lose this advantage as we reach adolescence (Michael, 2003).

Tradition has it that public schools introduce the learning of foreign languages at a point in development when pupils are likely to find it problematic. It’s therefore important to let children learn foreign languages at a tender age for those parents who desire the learning to be quick and efficient. Its encouraging that some schools have introduced foreign language lessons in the kindergarten and early grades but we are yet to attain in this area a universal good sense, hence individual have to make own arrangements (Michael, 2003).

Strategies used in second language learning

There are different strategies involved in the learning of second language which include the learning of vocabulary which is attained when the pupils are taught definition of these words. The children are given a set of vocabularies and their meanings which they master on a daily basis. Some people suggest full immersion where students are put in a class that only uses the foreign language increases the efficiency of learning the language, thereby making them succeed in our system the quickest way. Teachers should have the learners of language educated according to their special characteristics and give a quality education that is individualized or modify different methods of teaching to fit in the second language learners’ special requirements (Yang, 2008. Pg.3. Second paragraph). The other strategies implored are: repetition, sharing of books and fun and by use of visual aids like images. These strategies improve student development through language and social development and by increasing their cultural awareness.

Conclusion

Honoring diversity, promoting and respecting the use of second language by children is fundamental to having the rights of children secured. It is at this tender age that they can easily learn and master the language compared to when at the college level. This will provide them with social and educational outcomes that help them in reaching standards of responsibility in the future life.There is likelihood thatlearning second languages may be compulsory in future.

References

Center for Applied Linguistics, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics. (1979).

Language in education, Issues 22-24. Sydney: center for Applied Linguistics.

Colin B. (1998). Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education, Volume 1997. London:

Multilingual Matters.

District Administration. (2006). Learning a Second Language: When & Why. District

Administration. Professional Media Group. Retrieved on 6/16/11 from

http://www.districtadministration.com/viewarticle.aspx?articleid=989

Kit F. (2000). Issues in modern foreign languages teaching: Issues in subject teaching. New

York: Rout ledge.

Linda Halgunseth. (2011). How Children Learn a Second Language. Education.com Retrieved

on 6/16/11 from http://www.education.com/reference/article/how-children-learn-second-language

Michael K Meyerhoff. (2003). Pediatrics for Parents. Vol. 20: Bangor.

YANG Hong. (2008). on teaching strategies in second language acquisition. US-China

Education Review. Pg.3, Volume 5, No.1 (Serial No.38). Retrieved on 6/19/11from http://www.teacher.org.cn/doc/ucedu200801/ucedu20080109.pdf.

Duke gifted. (2007). Cognitive Benefits of Learning Language. American council on the

Teaching of foreign languages. http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=4724.