Some researchers believe that children beginning to learn the second language sooner or later will be more likely to have more language learning skills (eg, Krashen, Long, & Scarcella, 1979). However, many studies disagree with this hypothesis. For example, a study of children in the UK in learning French at school has shown that after five years of study, older children learn better in two languages (Stern, Burstall, & Harley , 1975). Similar results were found in other studies in Europe (Florander & Jansen, 1968).
This finding reflects that the foreign language teaching model used in Europe is primarily focused on grammar. Older children will have language learning skills that adapt to this teaching style and can do better when faced with knowledge testing forms.
This argument, however, does not explain the findings of the studies in French-only curricula in Canada – where grammar is less focused. On the French proficiency test, children who begin to learn a second language in the seventh or eighth grade have acquired and have better or better language learning skills than those who begin learning from the sample. or grade 1 (Genesee, 1987).
There are many theories that young children can learn to pronounce better. For example, in 1976, Oyama’s research found that a second language learner sooner or later will pronounce as much as a native speaker. This indicates that you need to learn a second language as soon as possible. However, since this takes a lot of time and involves culturally sensitive aspects of the child. In addition, children need continued support of their mother tongue to avoid being left behind in their studies.
Teachers should have realistic expectations for students. Studies show that older students are more likely to achieve results and language learning skills, even though younger children have an advantage in pronunciation. Certainly, starting language instruction in Grade 1 will give children more exposure than they did in Year 6, but the exposure itself does not guarantee a good result. when learning foreign languages.