In our increasingly global world, learning a new language might be some of our New Year resolution, however, the problem is learning a foreign language is much harder for adults than that is for young children. According to Francois Thibault, director of the Language workshop for children, in New York city, at age 3, children have the most remarkable capacity to discriminate all different phonetic pronunciations, adults might lose the capacity to hear and produce certain sounds if they are not exposed to language early on.
Young children are developing their language skills rapidly though communication and their senses and absorbing everything like a sponge. By exposing very young children into a context with foreign languages, we are giving them the opportunity to hear and distinguish the sound of the languages and start to make sense of what they are hearing. The earlier the young children learn a second language, the easier it will be for them to pick up its unique sounds.
When children are exposed to another language at early year setting, they can also take advantage of experiencing that language as a natural part of their development. Children seem less afraid of making mistakes when they learn the language than adult.
Children need to learn from a loving, nurturing, relevant, age appropriate, stimulating and enriching environment with a balance of both child-led and adult-led activities. Adult led activities such as, stories, songs, games, art and crafts provide language input for the children. Through child led activities, children learn to discover, discuss, communicate in the language in a meaningful context.
Studies suggest that learning an additional language can also enhance children transferable skills that will bring long term benefit because language learning develop listening, observation, problem solving and critical thinking skills.
Register your child at Wee Gems nursery, get free Mandarin classes when you child is 3 or above. We look forward to seeing you and your children.
Molly Mo (Mandarin Teacher)
10th January 2019