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How to train your baby to be super smart!


Okay, the video is a little silly. But what is the best age to start learning English?

"There is no such thing as being too young to learn a new language"
Exposure to a foreign language can be incredibly important for young children:
  • They develop better language skills in their first language. Learning a second language makes you think more deeply about language structure and grammar. This improves your understanding and use of language.

  • Children develop better cognitive skills. For example, problem-solving and critical thinking. Learning a new language forces you to think about complex cognitive processes. For example, recognising patterns and making connections between different concepts.

  • Children become culturally aware. They learn about different cultures and ways of life through the language they are studying.

Can you be too young to start learning a new language?


There is no such thing as being too young to start learning a new language. Research suggests that the earlier, the better. Younger learners find it easier to acquire native-like proficiency. Infants a few months old can tell the difference between sounds and rhythms of a new language.


Young children learn languages fast. This is because of their developing brains. Also because they are more motivated and less embarrassed compared to older learners. But young children do not learn the same way that adults do. Language instruction for very young children should be engaging and fun.


What is the best age for a child to learn a new language?

The best age for a child to start learning a language can vary depending on a number of factors:

  • Child's developmental stage

  • Exposure to the language

  • Motivation and interest in language learning.

The period from birth to age six is considered to be a critical period for language learning. During this time, children's brains are developing. Their brains are malleable. This makes it easier for them to acquire new sounds, vocabulary, and grammatical structures.


It's never too late to start learning a new language. Older children and adults can still benefit from language learning. But, it may take more effort and practice to achieve fluency in a second language later in life.


Do you think children are too young to start learning English?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Sometimes yes; sometimes no. It depends on the child.


Find out more about how we teach English to children and teenagers in this article. You can also find out more about our school on our website here. We are an English summer school based in Regents Park, London.


If you have any questions or enquires just email connor@skola.co.uk


References:

  • Bialystok, E. (2009). Bilingualism: The good, the bad, and the indifferent. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12(1), 3-11.

  • Genesee, F., Nicoladis, E., & Paradis, J. (1995). Language differentiation in early bilingual development. Journal of Child Language, 22(3), 611-631.

  • Kuhl, P. K. (2010). Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition. Neuron, 67(5), 713-727.

  • Pan, B. A., Rowe, M. L., Singer, J. D., & Snow, C. E. (2005). Maternal correlates of growth in toddler vocabulary production in low-income families. Child Development, 76(4), 763-782.

  • Oller, D. K., & Eilers, R. E. (2002).

  • Petitto, L. A. (2012). Why is infant language learning facilitated by parental responsiveness?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(2), 121-127.

  • Werker, J. F., & Byers-Heinlein, K. (2008). Bilingualism in infancy: First steps in perception and comprehension. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(4), 144-151.

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