In today’s connected world, learning a second language opens up a window to opportunities for children.
Many researchers have proved that children below seven years of age are inclined to learn a new language quickly. Lessons of new languages are introduced without even realising they are learning – children following the adventures of the hero in the storybook they are reading. At this age, they can easily imitate the accents and adopt the pronunciations of native speakers. Further, it also sharpens their analytical and critical thinking skills which will help them in future.
However, it must be ensured that the language is taught in the right accents. More than often, children learn the new language in the accent of their native language. For example, the Japanese often speak English with a thick Japanese accent. It becomes difficult for the global users of that language to understand them when adults.
In culturally diverse countries like India, it is a common practice for children to learn three or four languages. Understanding the advantages, many schools in developed countries are teaching a second language at school from three years of age. This has put academic pressure on the children and more work for parents, but all the efforts are worthwhile.