Monday, July 7, 2014

Pre-school and a Second Language

I read an article in”Early Childhood News” about teaching students a second language in preschool. It stated that it is easier than teaching students a second language in High School.

I found this interesting because there is a misconception that teaching young children a second language can be confusing and may interfere with their current language.

In my preschool class we do a Good Morning song in both English and Spanish. I don't know a lot of Spanish, but I try to introduce my students to the little bit that I do know. The students took to this song right away; I heard them singing it on the playground and throughout the day. I was surprised how they remembered the words so quickly and how they were pronounced.

We have also counted from 1-10 in Spanish, and they seem to enjoy that as well, anything that is different from the norm can be fun and exciting to students. We count in English and Spanish so that the students can see the difference in the two and get a basic understanding of what the Spanish words mean.

Based on the article; “Recent studies indicate that the best time for a child to learn another language is in the first three to four years of life.”

After reading this article and observing how my students handled the basic pronunciation of the new Spanish words, I realized that learning another language can also help students with their language skills, by subjecting them to new words and mouth movement, it would improve their speech.

Anything that is introduced in a fun and exciting way, students will enjoy it. Don't make learning a new skill, a test, if they learn it, that's fantastic, if they don't, then at least they had an opportunity to learn something new. If we look at any learning process in that way, we will be less stress about the outcome.

What second languages do you offer in your school or classroom?

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