Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school. Do the advantage of this outweigh the disadvantage?
As foreign languages, especially English for nonnative speakers, becoming more and more important, it is argued that the best time to start learning a foreign language should be before entering secondary school. While there could be several drawbacks for students to be given the opportunities to study foreign language early, I consider it to be a positive proposal. People against learning a second language from primary school may have some concerns about both the ability and the happiness of children. Firstly, primary school students are still in the period of learning the mother tongue, which means they are more likely to be affected by foreign “noises”. For example, if we let a Chinese primary school student take an English class, he or she may find it easy to mix the English letters up with the Chinese phonetic alphabet. Whereas for a junior school student who has mastered the native language, there will not be such a problem. Besides, learning a second language requires a great deal of time that should be spent on entertainment. After all, primary school students are just kids who ought to spend more time in playing. However, I insist that students would benefit more if they were adapted to a foreign language early in elementary education. From my point of view, there’s no need to be worried about the problems mentioned above. Scientific researches showed that children’s ability to learn language decreases as their ages increase. Although they may be confused by the similar characters in the foreign language and their native language, they would quickly get used to these characters. If we did not give them the chance to study a second language until they enter secondary schools, they would find it much harder to learn it than learning the first language, which may reduce their passion of learning. What’s more, children at this stage are driven by curiosity, which could lead to an ability to dabble in novelty. Giving children a chance to get in touch with a second language is also giving them an opportunity to raise interest in it. Once the interest was developed, those children would be willing to study the foreign language spontaneous even after they grow up. Learning something interesting will definitely bring the same happiness to children as playing. Moreover, learning a foreign language and the native language simultaneously could help children to form a similar manner of acquisition. Based on this study manner, students might receive benefits like using a foreign language more freely when they enrol in secondary education. In conclusion, although it seems to cost much for students to be exposed to a foreign language from elementary school, personally I prefer the argument that primary students should have the chances to prepare themselves with foreign language foundation for their further study.