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Foreign language learning, the earlier the better?     [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2015-6-17 15:59:36 |Display all floors
The enthusiasm of Chinese people for English education has never abated in all these years. Many Chinese parents believe English should be taught as early as possible. They spend big money and send their preschool kids, in some cases, as young as 2 or 3, to English training centers. But is it worth it for preschoolers to learn foreign languages?  What do you think is the best age to start learning foreign languages? What is the common age range for children to start learning foreign languages in your country? If you have ever taught the preschoolers a foreign language, please share your experiences with us. Thank you.

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Post time 2015-6-17 16:27:44 |Display all floors
This post was edited by Laine at 2015-6-17 16:34

If you want a child to learn a second or even a third language, the earlier they start, the better.
Children are more receptive to learning at kindergarten age and in primary school. Especially languages.
But parents must be very sure that learning English is a necessity for their child. The world is forever
changing and employment expections likewise.
But, if parents are sure - it works. Years ago (very early 60s) I was lucky enough to be in a very
forward-looking primary school which taught me French. Despite having not used it much since I still retain much vocabulary and speech from those early days.

I should add that I think age 3 to 3 and a half is the best time to start. And it should be on an "immersion" basis to begin
with. EG. Every weekday for at least 1-2 hours for the the first 2 months with homework and parental support.

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Post time 2015-6-17 16:35:20 |Display all floors
I taught regular preschool in Penghu in 2004, and preschool for learning disabled children in Taipei from 2006 to 2008. The regular and disabled class both learned reading, writing, classroom language, grammar [nouns, verbs, conjugation, SVO sentences] and the learning disabled group who had 3.0 hours of lessons daily became bilingual in two years. However the normal class of students who had only 30 minutes of English practice daily learned, yet did not become bilingual for their age level. I have mentioned the 3.0 hours, 5 days per week model in Beijing, since it is successful with learning disabled students and so with normal students, too, however, so far, no one in Beijing is interested in the working model. I also was algorithmically squished into teaching preschool in Beijing where the daycare without education lasted 9.0 hours per day, English was aggressively limited to 0.5 hours per day, and the English teacher was needed as a maid and usually told to be quiet and told all ideas are bad ideas. Obviously, the children [who are spoiled without rules, without discipline] didn't learn their ABCs. I talked with the staff about how I teach, based on successful experience in Taipei, and they were aggressively uninterested. My colleagues weren't bored. Inappropriate photos of preschool children were posted by colleagues on school walls, and when I asked why and what for, I was told those were the "good" ones. I am disappointed in the culture in Beijing since, from what I see, the people play and do no work, the children play and do no work, and the city seems as though in an incessant daydream of full-time playtime at all ages being somehow viable. I enjoyed living in Taipei where 12 hours daily are for commute and work, and 12 hours daily are for homelife. Again, contrasting the two, in Beijing people presume to invade privacy at home whereas in Taipei, the home is private. In Beijing, the demand requires that all lessons must all be happy clowns doing nothing but repeating phonics forever, totally and unbelievably learning disabled. In contrast, the Taipei teaching load starts with preschool at 1400, then teenage grammar classes at 17:30, then adult business classes on interesting topics in the evenings, in safe locations, so the teacher has some normal conversation each day. I have described these normal workdays and normal learning rates to Beijingers many times since 2013, however, none are interested, and so far, all they do is show their photos of models since they know that is irrelevant and hostile. So how can preschool education improve in Beijing? That is impossible while the parents childishly demand that all time must be playtime and their babies must be babies forever. I have said the same to many parents however so far, they say they don't understand and they want their children to be pets.
Jennifer Han Zhenhao
https://www.persuasive-logic-free-english-lessons.com

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Post time 2015-6-17 16:52:17 |Display all floors
Hi guys
I believe english power is connect with your salary,future,communication circle closely.but i think it is not necessary to kids have to go to preschoolers and study english.especially you need to cost lots of money and energy.it is not late to study it after they are in primary school.
so i dont agree this idea-English should be taught as early as possible.During this age phase,we should cultivate their interests.actually ,that is what we should to do

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Post time 2015-6-17 16:54:06 |Display all floors
Definitely the earlier the better

I learnt Cockney Rhyming Slang when I was about 5. It stays with you if you learn at that age

I learnt Spanish as I went along from about 25/28. I have to give it deep thought just before I need to speak it and even have to check words I knew but have forgotten.  

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Post time 2015-6-17 18:48:33 |Display all floors
i do think the earlier is better. we should create  all the enlgish environment to stimulate children's interests of studying english. i taught preschool in nanjing last year. the youngest student is 3 years old in our school. to be honest, its very hard to teach a 3-year-old kid to open mouth to speak second language when he just start to speak mandarin.  but they just walked out the first step then they did half of sucess i think. whats more, i think the majority of chinese parents sending their kids to learn english in early education organizations is wise decision.  i have been told by those parents that they dont expect how many words will their kids know, the only thing they care is to cultivate their interests of english learning. as far as i concerned , the age of learning foreign language couldnot less 3 years old! is it worth or not according to what do you want to get from kids.
my skype is nana.zuo90

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Post time 2015-6-17 18:53:16 |Display all floors
Hey austin, me plates o' meat are killing me right now after trekking up 3 floors of the old apples and pears.

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