Research has shown that the sooner children begin learning another language the easier it is for them to reach a high level of proficiency. Language learning promotes intellectual development in children and paves the way for future professional opportunities.
Trained language professionals are an asset in many fields. Children who learn one, two, or even three other languages besides English today will be among the leaders of tomorrow!
Benefits of children studying a second language:
- positively affects intellectual growth and mental development
- leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening
- improves a child's understanding of his/her native language
- gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know
- opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries
- gives a student a head start in language requirements for college
increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset
(source: Center for Applied Linguistics)
When should children learn other languages?
Dr. Patricia Kuhl, a Speech Scientist at the University of Washington, reports that babies are born "citizens of the world" in that they can distinguish differences among sounds (temporal, spectral, and duration cues) borrowed from all languages. They are ready to learn any language they hear, but by six months of age, they start to specialize in their native language.
Research has shown that the best time to learn a language is before adolescence. The human brain of a young child still has great "plasticity" at that point and is able to learn a language very easily, without any concern for rules and memorization. While it is true that high school students and adult learners can learn a second and third language quite successfully, it does require a much greater effort on the part of the learner to reach a high level of proficiency and native-like fluency and pronunciation.
What types of children’s programs are available through the Northwest Language Center?
In the greater Snohomish County area, programs include before- and after-school sessions for grades 1-5 (typically broken down into groups of grades 1-3 and 3-5) once or twice per week for the entire school year or for a shorter term.
Keep in mind that the more often children are exposed to hearing and using the language, the more quickly their learning will take place. In addition, you are instrumental in your children’s language learning success by surrounding them with a variety of language materials, including cassette tapes, CDs, DVDs/ videos, international students at your home and exposure to many cultural events.
How can I set up a language program at my children’s school?
We can offer programs (before or after school) at any school in the Snohomish County area with a minimum group of 12 children, grades 1-3 or grades 3-5
Parent organizers of language classes at their children’s school receive one scholarship for their child or any other child.
How much do children's classes cost?
This depends upon the length of class (typically 40 minutes), the frequency of meetings per week (we recommend 2x/ week) and the traveling distance from Everett Community College. Our rates are very competitive and our teachers are well-trained. Please contact us for more information.