Language is one of the most fundamental aspects of human communication. It is the main medium through which human beings shall present their ideas and to relate the contents of their minds to one another. Due to this characteristic nature of languages, it has allowed the human civilization to blossom and expand exponentially in many fields of knowledge. The English Language had in recent years gained significant prominence in multitudes of human knowledge especially in the field of science and mathematics. It is also one of the most widely and extensively taught foreign languages in many schools in the world. Therefore, it is quite imperative for the younger generation to acquire a sound mastery of English to provide them with the essential equipment for procuring the innumerable amount of knowledge presented through this language.
Why at such a young age?
Children have a great capacity to absorb the language and imitation of sounds. They are extremely spontaneous and have no sense of the ridiculous to feel older, which makes them not feel inhibited when to speak and practice English. Thus, by imitation, children play sounds and phrases and are able to learn a second language faster. Young children have the ability to learn foreign language accent-free, while older children, especially after the age of 10-12 will almost never learn to speak English without an accent.
How effective is teaching English to pre-schoolers?
Young children enjoy learning. They don’t care if an activity will improve their cognitive ability or motor skills. They just want to jump in and have a great time doing it. This same approach is true for children learning a new language. We would never try introducing high school students to a foreign language via children’s nursery rhymes, silly songs and hand puppets while sitting in a circle on the carpet. Yet, for young children, this is actually the best way to go about it because it makes language learning so much fun. It is amazing how quickly children will pick up a new language while having fun!
Young children have the opportunity for exposure and input from many different influences: parents, teachers, peers, and extended family. When both teacher and parent are on board with language learning, then children can be given language exposure, support and interaction all day long. A teacher can introduce words and songs in class while the parent further reinforces what was learned by offering activities and language exposure at home through CDs, bilingual books, games, videos and more. Plus, young children don’t have to deal with the difficulties of self-motivation that high school students or adults face when trying to learn a new language!