Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary schools rather than secondary school. Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?
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Band 9 IELTS essay sample
According to some academicians, it is better to introduce a foreign language in elementary school than in secondary school. I agree with this view. In my opinion, young children are better at acquiring a new language than older children. Also, learning an additional language at a young age enhances their IQ.
One of the major benefits of introducing a new language early on is that it helps the child gain higher levels of proficiency in it. As a matter of fact, I grew up speaking three different languages from the age of 3 and because of this I have utmost confidence in using all of them. If I didn’t learn these languages from such an early age, I doubt that I would be fluent in them. Another advantage of learning an additional language is that it enhances the child’s cognitive skills. Studies have shown that multilingual people are smarter than monolingual people. It is no surprise then that Albert Einstein spoke 5 different languages from a young age and he was undoubtedly one of the greatest minds on earth.
A potential disadvantage of learning multiple languages in primary school is that the child may confuse the foreign dialect and their native tongue. As a result, they may take longer to achieve fluency in their mother tongue. For example, we sometimes see that children born and brought up outside India have difficulty in conversing with their family in their native language. However, in my opinion, if parents make it a point to speak to their children in their mother tongue, this problem can be resolved easily. Another disadvantage of adding a new language to the primary school curriculum is that it puts an extra burden on children. Children already have a lot of subjects to learn and a new language can make the syllabus even heavier.
In conclusion, educating children to be multilingual from an early age promotes better language skills and a higher IQ in them. Parents and teachers just need to ensure that the new language does not become a burden for the kids.