The ideal age to learn a language
- Rafia Mubeen
- 15 September, 2020
International trade is gaining momentum. Education is increasingly pursued abroad. Sports, entertainment, social life, almost everything is becoming a global affair.
In these rapidly changing times, the ability to communicate with other nationals is extremely useful. This generation needs to realize the importance of teaching more than one language to its children. One may wonder, when should parents start teaching a second language?
The academic life these days is quite demanding. Children are stressed about the competitive nature of studies. Hence it would be unfair/unhealthy to overburden them with additional responsibilities.
However, just like any other skill, the sooner you start learning a language, the better are the results. An old tree has much stronger roots than a newly planted one. Similarly, the memory can absorb things learned early on much better.
While the golden rule of the sooner the better does apply to this scenario, we must wait till the child is sensible enough to comprehend two languages. This gives us an age bracket of five to ten years. The academic studies during this time are not too stressful and the child is also capable of learning the language faster.
So, it may be a good idea to keep introducing a word or two now and then around the age of five. This would familiarize the learner with the new language and also build a strong foundation. Considering how eager young children are to learn new things, they’ll soon ask you to teach them more words.
This enthusiasm built early on can be cashed in by enrolling the child in a language class. Alternatively, you can teach the kid at home with the help of online resources. If this starting-early approach is followed, it is believed that a child can speak a second language proficiently by the time he/she turns ten.