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Age to start teaching a foreign language

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 7:17 PM
  • 7 Replies

What age do you think foreign language should be taught?  I'm sure the younger the better.  But do you think they would just end up forgetting it after a few years if it wasn't regularly used? 

by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 7:17 PM
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bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:08 PM

 I would say the younger the better.  I also believe that they will retain the patterns, the flow, etc even with a considerable break.  I was very surprised with the amount that came back to me as I began teaching them Spanish.  I haven't had a class in a good 18 years, but the vocab and accents came back very well.

My son loses a good deal of vocabulary over a break, but picks it back up with a short review.  (he's almost 8)

CJsMommy040506
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:15 PM



Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I would say the younger the better.  I also believe that they will retain the patterns, the flow, etc even with a considerable break.  I was very surprised with the amount that came back to me as I began teaching them Spanish.  I haven't had a class in a good 18 years, but the vocab and accents came back very well.

My son loses a good deal of vocabulary over a break, but picks it back up with a short review.  (he's almost 8)


May I ask what you're using to teach him Spanish? I'd lie to do this with my kids, but I have no experience in Spanish myself.

bluerooffarm
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:33 PM

 

Quoting CJsMommy040506:

 

 

Quoting bluerooffarm:

 I would say the younger the better.  I also believe that they will retain the patterns, the flow, etc even with a considerable break.  I was very surprised with the amount that came back to me as I began teaching them Spanish.  I haven't had a class in a good 18 years, but the vocab and accents came back very well.

My son loses a good deal of vocabulary over a break, but picks it back up with a short review.  (he's almost 8)

 

May I ask what you're using to teach him Spanish? I'd lie to do this with my kids, but I have no experience in Spanish myself.

 We are using the Complete Book of Spanish Grades 1-3 and I use the Everything Kids Learning Spanish Book for the puzzles and games to review.  Theboys are getting a bit bored with the Textbook, so we are buying LightningFast Spanish for Kids and Families for next year.  We also bought some flashcards at the dollar store and play games with them.

usmom3
by BJ on Mar. 16, 2013 at 8:46 PM
I think it won't matter the age if it isn't used it would be forgotten.
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kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM

As we say in our family....Use it or Lose it.  But, that doesn't mean that it can't be picked back up with some reviewing, of course. So, the younger the better if you would rather have a quicker absorption ratio.  

TigerofMu
by Bronze Member on Mar. 17, 2013 at 1:15 PM

I say the younger the better. 

Knightquester
by on Mar. 17, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I don't think there is a "magic age" to teach foreign languages.

If it's a language that the child will be able to speak and hear in their home periodically as they grow then they should not have issues with retaining what they've learned when they step away from their lessons.

If it's just the child learning the language and the child has nobody in the home other than themselves using it then I'm sure it will cause some difficulties for the child in retaining what they've learned and keeping it up after they've stepped away from their language lessons.

August of last year is when we decided to introduce a foreign language to our children, ages 12, 11, 10, and 8 years old.  They all wanted to learn Japanese and although we have no family member that is Japanese my husband knows the language very well from his years of studying it.  So, we enrolled them into a Saturday Japanese school where they spend the day reading, writing and speaking Japanese and they usually come home with some sort of homework.  They all made straight A's and aced their midterms, and are enjoying their classes so I would say so far it's been a positive experience.

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