The Benefits of Foreign-Language Education for Young Children
Published: March 1, 2018
Science has shown that there are great cognitive benefits for children who learn a second language when they're young.
Barbara Lust, a developmental psychology and linguistics expert, has found that children who learn a second language have a better attention span and can achieve goals in the face of distraction better than those who only know one language. You can read more about her study and research here.
Lust and her collaborator Sujin Yang offer several tips for teaching a child a second language:
- Surround the child with more than one language through conversations and social groups using different languages; the earlier the better.
- Maintain home (heritage) language when a second language is being learned outside the home.
- Expose children to multilingual settings and give them plenty of opportunities to play with children who speak the second language.
- Provide fun and interactive language-learning environments (e.g., music, dance and film) in both languages, and often with children of similar age.
- Promote reading and storytelling in multiple languages.
- Maintain a positive attitude toward languages and cultures children learn.
This all sounds familiar, doesn’t it? These tips almost perfectly describe the language-learning environment offered at Lesnoe Ozero. Our Adventure Day Camp (July 16-22, July 26-29, or August 16-19) provides a unique chance for elementary-aged kids (age 6-11) to dip their toes into Russian language and culture. Additionally, the Family Week gives a chance for even younger children to visit the Village and engage with a new language in a fun and interactive environment.