Can a young child learn a language?

Nov 30, 2020

#Formation #Languages

Can a young child learn a language?

For various reasons there are parents who would like their young child to start studying a language, but they wonder if a decision of this nature is positive or, on the contrary, is not good for the child, because it would be a greater effort than it would take carry out and in the end you can subtract instead of adding in the study of the subjects of their age. Our answer is that it is positive and we will try to explain it in the following lines. Therefore, our suggestion to parents is that their children should study a language for the following reasons:

For its positive effects

- Because the child's brain has more plasticity, the study provides greater fluidity.

- When a child learns language at an early age, enjoys check to the sound of his voice to the pronounce the foreign words, and also seeing how impressed others.

- You come to like speaking abroad so much that you often even invent words that are similar to those you are learning. For him it is as if it were a game and he feels stimulated when he finds that his activity is applauded by his friends and family.

- The pleasure of connecting with other cultures generates confidence and tolerance.

What is the best age to start?

Some researchers admit that if a child from 0 to 3 years old comes into contact with a second language in a natural and continuous way, he would come to learn it and handle it in a similar way as he does with his native language. The child has very favorable conditions to start the study of a foreign language and even two. Research has been carried out that has shown that studying a language at an early age offers a number of benefits, such as:

- Increases their ability to carry out multiple tasks, because children who speak more than one language are more creative. At the same time that they develop critical thinking, they consolidate their personality and as a consequence of all this, their memory undergoes a great evolution that will help them to have less prejudice in their relationship with children from other nations, thus increasing their level of respect and tolerance towards others.

- Significantly improves problem solving skills.

- Develops critical thinking, providing it with more and better creativity, at the same time that it produces greater flexibility in the mind and at the same time that in the practical field it reproduces multitasking skills.

Environmental conditions necessary for the child to study

When starting to study a language, the child must have an attractive environment around him that gives him security. It cannot be forgotten that the environment always influences the teaching of any subject, especially when it comes to a foreign language.

It is known that the little ones tend to increase their ability and their desire to learn a language when they know that they are paid more attention and are listened to and valued, when everything around them makes them feel happy and safe. For these reasons they need:

- A pleasant environment that inspires confidence, stimulates them and makes them feel like they are the protagonists of something great that they will be grateful for with the sympathies of their age.

- He must have the appropriate resources for a child, such as listening to his greatest songs, stories and everything that allows him to enter into contact with the language in a pleasant way. When his mind receives what makes him enjoy it is when he feels he participates in the activities and performs them together with other children, because this circumstance favors sincere and authentic communication with those around him.

Positive aspects of learning a new language: connecting with other cultures and building tolerance

- Children tend to be tolerant and are oblivious to prejudice for interacting with other children of a race, color and culture different from their own. But these positive virtues are usually consolidated, at the same time that they increase when studying a second language , because it facilitates communication with people of different backgrounds, creating friendship and developing tolerance even more.

What should we take into account when we decide that our child studies a foreign language?

The hope of parents that their child learns a language from an early age is very positive, but at the same time, it runs some risks that tutors should bear in mind:

- The teaching of a language and even more so when it comes to learning two languages, will not be beneficial if it is carried out against the wishes of the child, because it negatively alters the normal development of the child. He must accept it with complete confidence as if it were a game and that in no way will it affect him negatively in his first phase of his personality development.

- The child has to understand naturally that the study of the language is part of their games. On the contrary, everything that is imposed on him as an obligation without him being aware of why and for what can turn against him and also runs the risk of hindering the formation of his personality. Because everything that the child receives as a mere imposition that he does not understand and that is alien to his tastes, can be the beginning of a trauma that can carry the rest of his life with it with quite unpleasant consequences.