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Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary?



 
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Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary? #1 (permalink) Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:56 am   Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary?
 

Below is an IELTS task 2 topic,
"Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school?
Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?"

Here is my answer
"Many linguistic researchers propose that we should start to learn another language, apart from our mother tongue, when we are still young, in particular, at primary school, rather than wait until high school years. In my opinion, it is best to learn a second language as soon as we are six and above.
First of all, unlike other subjects, language is the skill that we begin learning since we are still an infant, and it shall continue to develop as we grow up. However, there is a negative correlation between the number of new words that we absorb and our age. Many scientists confirm that the sooner we experience a new language, the easier we approach it. Because when we are kids, namely under 10 years old, our brain is still in its process of enormous expanding, resulting in a supreme ability to acquire new knowledge and skills. Hence, the time taken to master the foreign language will be shortened in comparison with that when we are older.
Moreover, as a child who is also just initially learn its mother tongue at primary school, we shall treat the second language almost as equally as our first language with the full curiosity and excitement. To most teenagers, a second language at school is frequently considered not a choice of interest but more likely a compulsory subject that you have to study for grades. Consequently, the results are relatively low.
Nevertheless, everything has two sides. In this case, the devil is in the fact that those children have to learn two languages at once at a very young age. Not having a sufficient understanding of both languages, they are easy to misuse the two languages. Sometimes they may apply the vocabularies or grammars in their second language while speaking their mother tongue and vice versa. The most important point is that it could be very stressful for them because the amount of linguistic load they come up with will be double that of others.
To confront this issue, they should prioritize one language only, in this case, it should be their mother language, while keep practicing the second one at an acceptable rate.
Overall, the benefits still outweigh some minor drawbacks, which are inevitable. Thus, children should better learn a new language since primary years, yet at a decent and comfortable rate.

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Re: Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary? #2 (permalink) Mon Oct 09, 2017 15:04 pm   Re: Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary?
 

Hi Fouryz, I was worried when I read your thesis and the first couple body paragraphs that you were only going to talk about the advantages. I am glad you correctly discussed the disadvantages also, but it is better to have your thesis more accurately reflect the structure of your essay. You have some great vocabulary and your essay flows well, but you did have a few incorrect or odd-sounding usages in this one - here are my specific comments:

Fouryz wrote:
Below is an IELTS task 2 topic,
"Some experts believe that it is better for children to begin learning a foreign language at primary school rather than secondary school?
Do the advantages of this outweigh the disadvantages?"

Here is my answer
"Many linguistic researchers propose that we should start to learn another language, apart from our mother tongue, when we are still young, in particular, at primary school, rather than wait until [the] high school years. In my opinion, it is best to learn a second language as soon as we are six and above. {"as soon as we are six and above" - the above part sounds a little odd, like "as soon as we are 7, 8, 9, or 10 we should start learning" - see that doesn't really make sense - so maybe "as soon as we turn six"} {this thesis is not quite right for this type of prompt. The prompt is actually a two-parter. First they expect you to give the advantages and the disadvantages and then give your opinion. If it just said, "What is your opinion?" your thesis would be correct, but you must mention "advantages" and "disadvantages" or their synonyms in your thesis}
First of all, unlike other subjects, language is the skill that we begin learning [when we were still infants] "since we were infants" is a period of time, but you can only begin something once - "I began speaking when I was an infant, I have been speaking since I was an infant."} and it shall continue to develop as we grow up. However, there is a negative correlation between the number of new words that we absorb and our age. Many scientists confirm that the sooner we experience a new language, the easier we approach it. Because when we are kids, namely under 10 {it is best to write out numbers twenty and less} years old, our brain[s are still in their] process of enormous expanding, {"expansion" is better} resulting in a supreme ability to acquire new knowledge and skills. Hence, the time taken to master the foreign language will be shortened in comparison with that when we are older.
Moreover, as a child who is also just initially learn[s ] its{"it" doesn't really work with "child" - his or her, or switch it to plural so you can use their} mother tongue at primary school, we {try not to switch from third to first person like this, especially in the same sentence} shall treat the second language almost as equally as {better to say "as almost equal to our first ..." or "the first and second languages almost equally, with the full .."} our first language with the full curiosity and excitement. To most teenagers, a second language at school is frequently considered not a choice of interest but more likely a compulsory subject that [they] {avoid 2nd person in formal essays} have to study for grades. Consequently, the results are relatively low.
Nevertheless, everything has two sides. In this case, the devil is in the fact that those children have to learn two languages at once at a very young age. Not having a sufficient understanding of both languages, they are easy to [easily] misuse {for "easy to" you would have to say "for them it is easy to misuse ..."} the two languages. Sometimes they may apply the vocabularies or grammars in their second language while speaking their mother tongue and vice versa. The most important point is that it could be very stressful for them because the amount of linguistic load they come up {"come up with" is not really right - maybe "they are burdened with ..."} with will be double that of others.
To confront this issue, they should prioritize one language only, {this is a comma splice, a type of run-on sentence. Use a period or a semicolon here instead} in this case, it should be their mother language, while [continuing to practice] the second one at an acceptable rate.
Overall, the benefits still outweigh some minor drawbacks, which are inevitable. Thus, children should better learn [are better off learning] {"better <verb>" always implies a threat or warning and comes across as a command, often with a named consequence of disobedience: "you had better study for your test or you will fail"} a new language [starting in their] since primary years, yet at a decent and comfortable rate.

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Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary? #3 (permalink) Wed Oct 11, 2017 16:58 pm   Start learning a foreign language at primary school or at secondary?
 

Many thanks, Luschen!
_________________
Woaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!
MUuu...oa
Fouryz
I'm here quite often ;-)


Joined: 05 Mar 2012
Posts: 266
Location: Viet Nam

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