Get them while they’re young seems to be a popular adagio for language learning. That’s why many educational systems now opt to introduce a second or third language early in the curriculum. A new study conducted in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, with longitudinal data gathered between 2010 and 2014, puts a bit of rain on this parade. Seven years later, children who start learning English in the first grade achieve poorer results in this subject than children whose first English lesson isn’t until the third grade. But for people promoting CLIL, read carefully, because you might be positively surprised and for all promoting multilingualism: no the study isn’t against learning more languages in school. At all.
From the press release (bold by me):
Highly recommended, yet not scientifically proven
“Starting foreign-language lessons at an early age is often very much commended, even though hardly any research exists that would support this myth,” says…
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