Question: 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? ( Cambridge English IELTS 9, Test 1, Task 2 )
In an era of globalisation, learning a foreign language becomes an important, if not fundamental, course in many countries, for its growing importance in international communication and global trade. And recently, some experts believe that it is better to start the course at primary school rather than secondary school. While doing so may be advantageous, it also has some disadvantages. And I do think its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
Learning a foreign language at elementary school brings lots of benefits. To begin with, this can lay a sound foundation for the children. It is undeniable that to have a good grasp of a language, we must have solid base of the language. This should be done earlier at primary school in order to make the advanced studying process later more efficient. Besides, the learning process can be more interesting. Thanks to the strong curiosity of kids, they will find the study way more interesting than they will do at secondary school. Thus the stronger learning incentive can lead to a happier learning process as well as a better result. Moreover, it has been proved by scientific research that children are keen on emulating and accepting new knowledge. Therefore, through long-term immersion in the foreign language, primary students can learn the new language faster.
Apart from the above advantages, however, it may also bring detrimental effects on children. Firstly, it may bring undue pressure on primary students who deserve to have less pressure in childhood. Learning a foreign language at primary school means the set up of a new subject. Kids may then be stressed by a sharp increase in schoolwork. What's more, increasing their workload too much so early may interrupt their learning processes on other subjects, including their mother language. So this may in turn hinder their original development, as they lack the ability of planning and time management.
While it is true that this can have some disadvantages, I still believe its advantages outweigh its disadvantages. The foundation laid and increase in incentive due to their curiosity is invaluable for their future study on the foreign language. And the negative impact can be offset by clear subject planning of schools. So in conclusion, its benefits exceeds its drawbacks and it is desirable for schools to carry out this policy.
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