Exposure to as little as one hour per week of a foreign language in the earliest years of pre-school has been shown to raise their IQ.
LCF Fun Languages offers 6 languages to children from age 2. Why is this important?
“"Foreign language classes... not only help kids gain language skills but also help them build self-esteem, thinking skills, math ability, and an appreciation of different cultures." Lynne S. Dumas, "Learning a second language," CHILD, February 1999
LCF Director Nickie Race Jones on ABC Brisbane – LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW
Joseph Lo Bianco (Chief Executive of Language Australia Ltd) speaking about the state of language learning in Australia - LISTEN HERE
School age children who are exposed to another language are shown to attain a high cognitive level and perform better in a wide range of other subjects.
Preschool Years are vital Years
“During this period and especially the first eight years of life, the foundations for thinking, language, vision, attitudes, aptitudes and other characteristics are laid down” Ronald Kotulak, author of “Inside the Brain”.
During the first 8 months a baby brain builds a large number of brain connections, up to a billion a second (Kotulak, 1996). By the age of 8 months they number 1000 trillion and start to decline rapidly unless the child is exposed to stimulation. This results in a dwindling number of connections that have reduced to roughly 500 Trillion by the age of 10. It is during these 10 years that the foundation for thinking, language, vision, attitudes, aptitudes and other characteristics are laid down. It is also during this period that a child will lose the ability to speak in languages that he or she does not hear. In the first 12 years the brain is a super sponge and once the development is complete the window closes and any further learning has to be gained through long and hard traditional learning (Kotulak,1996).
According to Dr Harry Chugani, a Detroit Pediatric Neurologist, foreign language teaching should begin when children are in preschool, when teachers can maximize a child’s willingness and ability to learn.
Learning a second language or third…
The success of foreign language learning during pre-school can be found in Swedish nurseries. In these schools you will find 3 year olds speaking three different languages fluently (Dryden & Vos, 1997). In fact Sweden has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. The languages have been learnt through stimulation and play before the children are able to read.
Research carried out during the last few years has shown that learning a second language enhances children’s overall mental development. This results in increased language skills, higher self-esteem, thinking and reasoning skills, maths ability, earlier reading and better cultural understanding.
Maths: a second language increases the ability to solve complex problems.
English: a second language increases the vocabulary available to a child. This results in both languages reinforcing each other, giving the bilingual child an edge over their mono-linguistic contemporaries. Children can learn much about English by learning structures and words in other languages.
Reading: there is evidence that the double exposure to language has resulted in children reading.
Improved self-esteem is one more by product of early foreign language instruction. Young children feel good about having this new competence. Also, because of the extra stimulation, young bilingual children find it much easier to learn other subjects as the foundation for learning is there.
Bilingual children have a better understanding of our multi-cultural world, which is a definite advantage in this time of high tech high skilled jobs. In other words they are better equipped for competing in tomorrow’s job market.