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The benefits of start learning English early

Wed, Jul. 19, 2017 Posted: 01:40 PM

Starting to learn English at a young age offers children opportunities for growth that will benefit them throughout their lives. Not only is learning languages is easier for younger children, learning a second language can enhance their cognitive growth to improve learning in other subject areas. And it can be a lot of fun!

Young children have an easier time learning a language than adults because their brain is like a sponge for knowledge, and it is especially hard-wired for language acquisition. Even before children speak, their brain is absorbing the sounds they and intonations they will use in the future.

Learning English for 3-6 year olds can come quite naturally through stories, rhymes, and play. Whereas older children and adults may be afraid of looking silly, children’s natural playfulness and dauntlessness mean they’re willing to try their new language skills without fear of embarrassment. Young learners want to show off their new skills and are easily encouraged to keep learning through positive feedback from adults.

Children don’t yet have concepts like grammar or abstract thinking to complicate their understanding of English and muddle the learning process. They can learn about their environment and soak up an English vocabulary alongside their native language at an age-appropriate rate without “over-thinking” like an older child or adult might.

In addition to learning faster and more easily, children who start learning English early can learn to speak English better. The younger a child learns English, the better they can develop native-like pronunciation and avoid a foreign-sounding accent. Early childhood, while children are still learning their first language, it is the perfect time to harness the brain’s power to learn English as well.

Not only is young childhood a developmental niche for learning another language, learning another language such as English can be a springboard for cognitive development. Children who study a foreign language has been shown to outperform their monolingual peers on standardized tests. The higher scores carried across both verbal and math sections, showing that language learning did more than improve just linguistic skills - it improved all-around cognitive skills.

Learning English as early as 3-6 years old also simply gives children more time to learn and enjoy the benefits of speaking English. Starting young gives children an advantage over their peers and future colleagues who may have started English later. As children get older, they will have more subjects and activities competing for time and attention, so learning before intensive school studies begin is ideal.

Starting to learn English early, while the brain is still a sponge for new languages, can offer huge benefits and save a lot of frustration in the future. With play-based learning, children will hardly notice they’re using a new language, compared to the hours of studying the same person might need to invest as an adult only to achieve lesser results than if they had started early. Speaking English opens doors for schooling and careers, giving a child more opportunities in life.

While it is never too late to start, it is also never too early! English for 3-6 year olds can be tons of fun with lasting benefits.

David Fournier