Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
Band 8 Essay Sample
In this age of globalization, most schools encourage their students to become proficient in some foreign language because it will open multiple avenues for them in the future. Some educationists believe that children should be initiated to a new language at the primary level rather than at the secondary level. In my opinion, introducing a foreign language early in the curriculum has more merits than some manageable demerits.
To start with, the most compelling reason for commencing language lessons early in schooldays is that the language learning capability is pretty high in children compared to adults .To explain it further, the young brain has an amazing capacity of registering and assimilating new facts and commands. This capability declines rapidly with age. Moreover, the hesitation to speak, which is usually an important barrier in expressing a new language, is usually not seen in young-ones. For instance, data from International language Institute, China, revealed that proficiency in non -native language is achieved almost 5 years earlier when it is introduced in elementary school as against introduction in secondary school.
In addition, language learning requires regular practice and time to develop fluency. Thus, the early start provides users enough time to master the skill and use it aptly for professional growth at the peak of their career. For example, statistics published in 2010 by Goethe-Institute, New Delhi disclosed that the success rate in clearing the German proficiency exam was 20 percent more among the aspirants when they start training in preparatory school itself.
On the flip side, the other lobby advocating teaching new languages at secondary grade level states that introducing new activity increases the burden on young children who need some time to adjust to the new school environment. Hence, they support teaching anything new at a level when they are fully accustomed to their original syllabus, which usually happens by the time they are in higher classes.
To conclude, in my view, learning a foreign language is the need of the hour, which if started early in life is more fruitful in view of the commendable learning capacity of youngsters and extra time required to achieve excellence in it. However, it might put some surplus load on beginners, which is acceptable because of immense future benefits.
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