Question: “Should Children Learn Foreign Languages?”
The knowledge of foreign languages is a sign of above-average mental ability. It is not a characteristic of the majority and people who possess such skill have many career opportunities. This is the reason why parents are willing to invest in language education as they are aware that the skill is needed in this globalized world. Children are at the most ideal stage for language acquisition. As a domain of multiple intelligence, linguistic aptitude is a known trait of the special few. While it is true that some have the innate ability to learn languages easily, education proved that intelligence can be nurtured through optimal and focused training.
Like what has been mentioned, it is easy for youngsters to learn new languages. Though some are hinged to the nature origin of such intelligence, the nurture aspect also plays an important role in linguistic development. Aside from learning the language itself, teaching it at an early age can open doors to other types of ‘intelligences’ such as world and cultural diversity awareness. Yes, the children will learn the syntax and grammar but they will also get a sense and understanding of how other people groups think and express themselves. This rare type of intelligence is not a characteristic of the intolerant majority. It will surely help the child get far in life.
The increasing multicultural nature of schools and work places are becoming more and more evident. Learning foreign languages is important because again, the awareness of cultural diversity is hard to teach in adulthood. One inevitable result of learning is the building of relationships. When children reach adulthood and meet other nationalities in their companies, they can instantly build that connection which is not possible if they haven’t learned the language of those people groups.
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