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Author Topic: Benefits of Second Language Learning  (Read 5820 times)
cspanish
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« on: January 13, 2011, 04:41:00 PM »

The Impact of Second Language Education study shows the benefits of learning a second language are much broader than simply the ability to speak in another language. It reports on research that affirms the importance of second language education on intellectual potential, scholastic achievement, first language skills, citizenship and the economy.
The research conclusions in each area are as follows:

Intellectual Potential
•Students fluent in two language score higher in both verbal and non-verbal intelligence.
•Students studying a second language are superior in divergent thinking tasks and in memory ability and attention span.


Scholastic Achievement
•Second language students have higher test scores in reading, language and mathematics.
•Each additional year of second language training created a greater positive differential compared to students not receiving a second language.


Effect on First Language
•Second language education significantly strengthens first language skills in areas of reading, English vocabulary, grammar and communication skills.
•The earlier the start, the greater the positive effect on the first language.


Citizenship
•Students studying a second language have superior cross-cultural skills and adapt better to varying cultural contexts.
•Students studying a second language display greater cultural sensitivity.


Economic Potential
There is an urgent requirement for qualified speakers of languages other than English in areas of science, technology, medicine and global commerce

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What are the benefits of learning a foreign language at a young age?Children have a unique ability to learn a language naturally, with less effort than adults. It's best to take advantage of this as early as possible through consistent exposure and enjoyable activities.
Even before children can speak, they are able to encode unique sounds, accents, and intonations, providing the foundation for communication skills that will be used throughout their life.
As children grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to learn new words, develop new sentence structure, and flawlessly imitate new accents.

What advantages do children who learn a foreign language have?"Children who have been exposed to a foreign language early often learn the read faster and with greater ease because they are able to recognize the relationship between letters and their sounds without the help of visual objects. Exposure to a second language clearly benefits children’s reading abilities. American Psychological Association May 1997"

Children who learn a second language typically have better problem solving abilities, better reasoning skills, and are more creative. ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages & Linguistics"

Children with bilingual skills outperform similar monolingual children on both verbal and non-verbal tests of intelligence and typically, have higher SAT or standardized test scores. Department of Education, USA

Exposing children to a second language not only gives them the ability to communicate with more people but also teaches them to appreciate and respect other cultures and people that are different studies have shown, and experience has supported, that children who learn a language before the onset of adolescence are much more likely to have a native-like pronunciation. ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages & Linguistics

Languages are for life and they can’t be taken away once you have learned them. By helping your child and continuing to help her, you’ll have a lasting contribution to her quality of life and understanding of others and their culture.  Hodder and Stoughton Educational, 1994

How long does it take to become fluent in Spanish?
The time it takes to become fluent depends on several factors. Some factors are:
1.   Student age - the younger you are when you start, the better
2.   Aptitude for language - some people are just better at language than others
3.   The effort - if students practice every day s/he will learn and remember a lot more than someone who takes classes once a week but does not practice outside of class.

How long will it take for my child to learn another language?The first thing to consider is that every child is unique and learns at a different rate. If, however, your child is consistently exposed to the language through both traditional social learning environments and new media resources, he or she should make significant progress relatively quickly. Although developing language skills is a lifelong endeavor, with daily exposure, your child should be near fluent within two years.

 What are the myths about exposing children to foreign languages?Learning a second language will interfere with the child’s ability to learn English
“In most cases, learning another language enhances a child’s English ability. Children can learn much about
English by learning the structure of other languages. Common vocabulary also helps children learn the meaning of new words in English. ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages & Linguistics

If I don’t speak Spanish, how will I be able to teach my child?Parents do not have to be native speakers or know the foreign language to teach it to their children. There are many venues that can be used to teach children Spanish; bilingual television, songs, bilingual preschool, books, movies, bilingual toys and computer games.

 My child does not know Spanish –will he/she be confused and not understand what to do?
Our program is mainly designed for children who do not yet understand or speak the Spanish language. We do, however, welcome and encourage children who already use Spanish in their homes to be part of our program.

S4Me Team is completely bilingual in English and Spanish. The first couple weeks, we will start the program speaking both Spanish and English so that the children understand each activity and also the children become familiar with daily routine.
Once the children are familiar with the activities and daily routine, it becomes easy to switch to speaking Spanish. Most of the time, children don’t even notice when we switch. They are too busy having fun. If the teacher every doubts the children understand something, she will briefly explain in English and then continue in Spanish. We are here to encourage the love of the Spanish language and will ensure that the children feel comfortable and secure.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 08:21:11 AM by cspanish » Logged
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