In our global society, your child will be a European citizen and ultimately a citizen of the world. You can never start too early to prepare them for this challenge. Knowing foreign languages means wider access to job opportunities, increased intercultural awareness and positive attitudes towards diversity as well as enhanced communication skills.
Research in neuroscience suggests that it is a time in the children’s brain development when the window of opportunity for language learning is still wide open. Learning a foreign language at the primary stage is more effective than in secondary schools. Children learn about the structures and mechanisms of English that they can then transpose onto a second language. In turn, their competence in English will be reinforced.
In addition, young learners have precious inherent qualities which predispose them towards language learning. These should be nurtured. They have a natural sense of curiosity. Just like little sponges, they are more receptive and much happier to experiment, not suffering from inhibition to the extent that teenage pupils can.
Learning a second language also helps the children’s development. Their confidence and self-esteem are boosted by this new set of skills.
The National Centre for Languages ( CILT) provides useful information on language learning. Their primary language section is particularly good: www.primarylanguages.org.uk