Early advantage for language learning!

Posted: Wed, May 2, 2018 1:06 PM

A recent paper from the journal, Cognition, has revealed that there may be a critical cut-off age for learning a language fluently. 

There have been numerous studies which show that children who learn a second language at a young age demonstrate incredible cognitive advantages, way beyond being able to order a cup of tea while abroad! Learning a second language is known to increase creativity, critical thinking skills, and problem solving in young children. 

Angela Sterling, Former Head of Primary MFL and Founder of Lingotot, left teaching and launched her own children’s language business in 2010 in a bid to introduce children to languages at a much younger age. She says: “The benefits of learning a second language at a young age, when the brain is still developing, are huge and I have witnessed so many children leap forward academically, but also with confidence and social skills because of their understanding of language and culture.”

The paper suggests that children who learn a language before their teenage years are more likely than older learners to achieve native-like pronunciation and understanding of grammar.  

Catherine Ford, Headteacher explains: “The younger the learner, the better they are at mimicking new sounds and adopting pronunciation. The brain is open to new sounds and patterns in preadolescence.”

By exposing young children to other languages, you can support their innate ability to hear and distinguish the sounds of other languages, and their ability to make sense of what they are hearing. 

Read more on the BBC news website