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Second language in first year of primary school?





XSTG
Yes, it's true, I heard it at the TV yesterday. They want to put English at 1st year of primary school. COME ON!!!! How do you want the poor students to learn! They don't even know how to write and read their OWN language, so learning them a new one at the same time... poor them. A kid needs time to play. Puting a second language in first year is a stupid thing! They won't be bilingual anyway before 5-6 years.

What do you think?
johnisenglish
When I was in elementry school (in NC in the 80's) we had German classes starting in Kindergarden. They were super basic (just like anything else in Elementry school), but I actually remember more German from the time that I was there then I remember French from the several years of it I took later on in High school.

There have been a number of studies that show that young children are much better at picking up that kind of information then teenagers / adults. It's what they're designed to do at that point in their development, so implementing these type of language programs is just an effort to make the most of that.

Sounds like a good idea to me Smile
Vrythramax
I took 4 years of high school French and I am still unable to order from a French menu, or even hail a bus Sad

Maybe I should have started younger. Wink

In all seriousness tho, I think first grade to be a little young to start learning a second langauge, but it *does* seem to work for many countries where a second langauge is mandatory. I don't think I would have done very well at that age, but not every child is the same. Some kids that grow up in a household where 2 (or even more) langauges are spoken grow up speaking more than one langauge, and they do so without even knowing they were learning a new langauge.
XSTG
I knew children had more capacity to learn fast but I still don't think they should put it that early. 3rd grade was already alright... why change it? And they plan on puting more school...
darknez3
In Europe my school had Russian, Polish, English and French starting the 1st grade. Mother tounge is Ukrainian. I cant complain...you don't have to be a strong student to learn another language because you can derrive so many words from the basic language such as English.
JonesThe42nd
I personally think it's a great idea. I know from personal experience that it's easier for a 5 year old to learn another language than, say, mathematics. If you look at kids who grew up in bi- or tri-lingual households, they seem to pick up all of the languages spoken around them with equal ease. I'm not saying that it wouldn't make schooltime a little bit more difficult for the little buggers, but they would end up being generally more intelligent, diverse individuals. And really, if that's not what school is for, what is?
paul_indo
Children have no trouble learning a foriegn language whan they are young.

Nearly all the children of my western friends can speak Indonesian and English. Even at five years old many are already fairly fluent in Indonesian although English is the language in there home. It is easier though when you are surrounded by other people speaking both languages.
phoneix
yes learning a second language is easier in younger ages...
but first this children must learn their own language...
i think teaching a new language should in 2nd or 3rd year
SNES350
Unfortunately, the Spanish program started at 3rd grade at my elementary school, unlike one of the other schools that had it starting in Kindergarten. I did have early experience with another language (my parents are not native English), which I remember the most of all of that language from what I've picked up from their conversations. I didn't learn the language formally (or even too much beyond basic conversation from my parents), but I have picked up on much more of it than I know German in my 4 years taking that. I also havn't learned (and remember) much (maybe anything) new of my parents' native language since ~4th grade.
Soulfire
Studies show that students learn best (especially languages) when they are younger, and their minds more susceptible to learning. The earlier the start, the easier it is. Personally, I think it is a wonderful idea, because to get anywhere in the future world, you are going to have to be bilingual. Perhaps, if parents think it will not be beneficial, schools could offer an "Opt-out" option similar to sex education classes.

Spanish the second fastest growing language in the world, and I am in Spanish 2 in High School, I really wish I would've started young. In our school, Spanish now starts in 7th grade (new this year) with courses being planned for 3-8th grade, and optionally in 9-12.
windrei
XSTG wrote:
Yes, it's true, I heard it at the TV yesterday. They want to put English at 1st year of primary school. COME ON!!!! How do you want the poor students to learn! They don't even know how to write and read their OWN language, so learning them a new one at the same time... poor them. A kid needs time to play. Puting a second language in first year is a stupid thing! They won't be bilingual anyway before 5-6 years.

What do you think?


i wanna ask, where are you from ?

i am from Hong Kong. Here, we begin to study english, the alphabets and the simple words, since we are in kindergarden, i.e. around 3 years old. At the same time, we need to study chinese too. i don't see any problems for children to learn a second language since they are small. Actually it's better. Children can learn new things easily and fast. Also, if you learn in childhood, it's life long lasting. i am learning other languages now, but it's much more difficult.
MalvagioAddict
I think that's a good thing, the ealier you are exposed to the language then the more it will be easier for you to learn that language.

Even in the Philippines, I studied kindergarden in a chinese school and up until grade school, you have to learn chinese as well as english language as a subject. I never did develop my chinese language, but I think it has helped me to at least be decent in the English language. It would help them in the long run.

I agree with windrei too, it's a lot easier for you take in the language when you're younger. it helps. a lot
blackheart
I learnt Indonesian in prep - but i moved schools in year 2 so I have since lost all such knowledge... and the school I went to had us learning Chinese - but as I never payed attention, and am now in year 10, I have long forgotten anything I learnt.

Of course it's a good idea, the younger the "student" the easier it is for them to learn something. (It's all to do with brain developement). And the longer they have to learn it before they really need it.

In fact, MOST Australian primary schools teach A language of some description from prep up... of course, you could debate as to the quality of the LOTE in some schools...
Davidgr1200
The younger you start the easier it is to learn. My son was born in Swedish and is bilingual (Swedish and English) because I have spoken English to him ever since he was born. He does not mix up the languages (except when he wants to to make interesting effects), but it is important not to mix them up yourself.
the_mariska
I've been learning English since I was 7 and I don't complain [in my country, Poland, it's mandatory since the 4th class]. I've also taken up later German, French and Spanish, but out of those 3 Spanish is the only language I can communicate in. In my opinion, they should teach two foregin languages at the primary school, it's the time when a human brain can absorb the most of information Wink
xray757
phoneix wrote:
yes learning a second language is easier in younger ages...
but first this children must learn their own language...
i think teaching a new language should in 2nd or 3rd year

But children who grow up bilingual learn both languages at the same time without having problems. So its not a must to be able to speak/know a language to learn another language.
windval
it is too cruel for the children

we should give children time and space to play

and let them to have a wonderful childhood
silvermesh
learning foreign languages is actually fun for most children. you have to start young or its not gonna stick unless you get total immersion(being completely surrounded by the language). I wish they had done foreign language that young when I was in school. I might actually remember something from it.

Children enjoy learning. it is fun to them, and if youve ever had kids you know that once they hit about four, all they do is ask questions about how things work and why. They want to know everything, and there is so much out there for them.
XSTG
0_o... I wouldn't think so much people would agree against me Smile

Well, I'm from Canada, and we used to start english in 3rd grade. I'm learning spanish at school (high) and it's not really tough, even if I'm not 6, so...
Tasukii
Im in, I think the best moment to learn a language is when you are in primary school. You learn and memorize everything, your brain is almost empty so you can learn faster. I think be bilingual at 10 is wonderful.
kaze89
I think it's great.
The earlier the better...but I'm really obsessed with foreign languages anyways.
There's children who start with a second language in kindergarten, so why not primary school?
I certainly wish I could have started earlier, I didn't get real english lessons before 5th grade, which I think is way too late.
Languages are learnt easiest before puperty.
paul_indo
Quote:
it is too cruel for the children

we should give children time and space to play

and let them to have a wonderful childhood


You seem to think that learning is a hard chore or a punishment. Learning can be a lot of fun

Learning another language is definitly a lot of fun. It opens there minds to a much bigger world out there.

I speak two languages fluently, my wife speaks 3 fluently. I learnt my 2nd language as an adult so it was a little harder but still a great experience.
My wife grew up with two languages and learnt the third when she was about 17 or 18.

If the teachers are good and can "really" speak the language they are teaching it is an enjoyable experience, it also helps you to avoid the narrow views that can develop without exposure to other cultures and beliefs, as these must be understood to really be fluent in the language you are speaking.
Frosty
I think its not normal just learn them how to write
karysky
In Québec, we start learning English in fourth year of elementary school and they want to put it in first year.

I read somewhere that it was easier for younger students to learn languages than older ones. Scientific studies demonstrated that learning a new language doesn't deteriorate or slow the learning of a main one.

I think it's okay for first years to learn English, HOWEVER, not if they remove physical education for it !
XxGunner
Well actually its kinda better for them since when they grow up and become smart and pros they will get a good job and then they could play all they want with all the money they have, you know what im saying. LOL but still it is kind of harsh in a way.
Helios
I started learning English when I was about 7-8 years old(at the time I knew some little Hebrew too haha)

Well, my mother language is actually Russian. Razz
XSTG
karysky wrote:
In Québec, we start learning English in fourth year of elementary school and they want to put it in first year.

I read somewhere that it was easier for younger students to learn languages than older ones. Scientific studies demonstrated that learning a new language doesn't deteriorate or slow the learning of a main one.

I think it's okay for first years to learn English, HOWEVER, not if they remove physical education for it !


I would not be sad if they removed physical eduction *hates moving/hates moving/hates moving*. And erm, we start in third year (I'm from Québec too!!). Well I think it will change nothing anyway, because I am at high schools and all students aren't even able to speak English correctly, and not even capable to spell their mother language (French) that's horrible.
Blaster
Well my friend is writing a research papper about learning a different language in 1st grade. The truth of the matter is that it will help them better understand it.

Read more on by reading http://www.cal.org/resources/faqs/rgos/benes.html that.
seanooi
when i first started primary school, which was about 12 years ago, we were required to learn 3 languages (english, mandarin, malay), and it turned out quite well. I can now speak those 3 languages quite fluently I would say. Laughing
zombi3
i hate the fact that we have to learn a second language to better understand the foreigners coming into our country. Y dont they just learn our language since they wanna live here?
XSTG
zombi3 wrote:
i hate the fact that we have to learn a second language to better understand the foreigners coming into our country. Y dont they just learn our language since they wanna live here?


A bit egoïst there Smile
kiranaghor
hmmm... u know what in my country too learning English as a subject from very first grade is compulsory. And people have started avoiding our mothertongue (marathi) for english. Thats so sad... Agreed that English is global language, easy to learn and fun too... but why people in my country feel shame to use their own m'tongue when they learn English. In some call centers they have 'no regional language' zones. Come onn..
zjosie729
I think this should be a 'optional' idea, meaning that the kids can choose to do it or not. Some kids might be thrilled with the idea that they can learn a new language, while some might not. In China, we start English in third grade, and I was among the few that was thrilled. It was useful to learn, 'cause now I've emmigrated to the US. : )))
cnnet
I insist we should master our own language before learning the second one
eku53ru
This would probably be a pretty cool idea, if it expanded to other languages as well. In the States (or at least the area where I live), you don't learn a new language, or aren't given the option to at school, until you are in your second year of junior high.

I find it interesting that other countries may make English a requirement to learn alongside their native one, though. It's nice that English is expanding because of this, it's rather sad to hear that people choose English over the language they're "expected" to speak in their country. I've known a few people to have done this (learned languages at a young age and shun the non-English one).
benwhite
A lot of private schools start language at first grade already. Mine started back then as well.

What I do know is that when people from my school were in a "comparable" level of Spanish from our friends in public school who really didn't start until 7th grade, we were infinitely better.

At least in terms of making hispanic students in places like Dallas, where I grew up, learn English early...it's extremely important. Because higher level courses are taught in English, the longer kids are kept in ESL programs and allowed to not perfect their English, the more problems they have down the road. If as a country, we're ready to fund public schools for all ages including universities in Spanish, that's one thing. But our current course, "No child left behind," isn't working. A nearby public school is predominately recent Mexican immigrants. The high school starts with a class of near 800; the graduating class was less than 200. That's a serious issue.
godset
Learning language in 1 grade (or earlier) is mayby at bit tough, but maybe we just should introduce the kids to a foreing language at that age, and learn them by playing.
In Denmark kids in school learn 2 lforeing languages and is offered 2-3 more if they want to.
I saw someone post that if people come to live in his country they should learn the language.....with that I agree. But what if I just visit????

If you are able to speak a couple of foreing languages, you can always get along when you travel around the world.

I remember what a teacher said to me long ago:
Quote:
liveing is learning, learning is understanding, understanding is liveing, and liveing is loveing
mschnell
I think it would be best to learn languages as young as possible. In order to be able to correctly pronounce some things you would need to be speaking the language by the age of seven or so, wouldn't you? I think there is a great deal of psychological reasearch that shows that children can hear/mimic phones/phonemes that they lose as they grow older. If you don't learn young, you'll always have an accent:wink:
heady233
I think that's crazyness. I mean really. They haven't even mastered their own language. No wy there gonna learn a new one.
meet in rio
I think it's a good idea. We're not talking about grammar lessons or lit-crit here.

Just a few words (colours, numbers, animals) and a couple of stock phrases can be quite enjoyable, and also help with the accent later on. I didn't learn any foreign languages until I was 12, and six years later still find it difficult to make certain sounds that we just don't have in English (peRRo, amOUr, etc.). My little sister (Cool started French this year and has a reasonably accurate accent.

Of course, maybe I'm just crappy at languages. Very Happy
bigzero
I, personally, had English since first grade and am very happy I did. The younger you are, the easier it is for you to learn a second language and from experience I can tell that it isn't any harder than history or math. If you start early you might even be able to get another language in before your midle school is over. In Lithuania (at least in my old school) we had to take a third language in 7th grade. It never really stuck though, which is rather unfortunate. Sad
Gieter
What I think about this? It is bad. When you're so young, you indeed can learn several languages more easier, but there's a but: if you don't hear the same amount of language 1 as the amount of language 2, you'll mix them up. If they teach it to children who can't even write, that has to give problems.

Second, bi-lingual kids know two languages, but the level of their 'primary' language is lower that the level of the primary language of a mono-lingual kid at the same age. This difference in fact, does not disappear that easily.
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