There is great deal of evidence that suggests there are significant benefits to starting a foreign language in elementary school. Aside from the notion that students in this age group may demonstrate a greater mental flexibility, creativity, ability for divergent and higher-order thinking, as well as sharper listening and memory acumen, the most compelling argument is simply that language proficiency is generally not achieved in Four years of high school language study. When it comes to language, most experts agree the best approach is, “the sooner the better.”
In fact, Jean Piaget, the renowned developmental psychologist, formulated additional arguments for beginning the study of a foreign language at an early age. Piaget through clinical studies found that grade school students tend to be more open-minded than middle and high school students. They are more interested in learning about different kinds of people and cultures. And they are more receptive to learning about the culture and country whose language they are studying.
Piaget also had a theory of cognitive development as it applies to language acquisition. Piaget held that when a child is faced with an idea or an experience that does not fit into his or her realm of understanding, this idea or experience serves as a catalyst for new thinking. A new language also being a new idea or experience, likewise serves as a catalyst for new thinking. In conclusion, the study of language has an over all benefit to the student because it increases the ability for students to think in new ways. Simply put, learning a language is good for the brain.
After registering here, click on the language you want and enter the Elementary School link for course offerings for this age group.