ERIC Number: ED283367
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Oct
Second-Language Learning in Early Childhood: Some Thoughts for Practitioners.
There is much that can be done in early childhood education programs to foster second language learning in young children. The research literature on early childhood bilingualism clearly indicates that children can learn two languages simultaneously without apparent effort, without cognitive strain or interference in learning either language adequately. Young children will learn languages best in an environment where the languages are clearly separated by persons. Caregivers can facilitate language learning by talking in an appropriate way to young language learners, as they do intuitively and spontaneously when communicating with a child, and by providing a stimulating and diverse linguistic environment with meaningful social interactions, including those with native-speaking peers. There is considerable evidence from ethnographic research that children from minority cultures learn better when classroom interactional patterns match patterns they are accustomed to, and teachers need to accommodate the child's expectations while gradually introducing mainstream values, language patterns, and interactional styles. Different kinds of classroom structure and teaching behavior work well with children of different language backgrounds. However, care must be taken that the children not lose their first language and culture. (MSE)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Second Language Learning by Young Children; see FL 016 716.