Foreign Language And Young Learners – To Teach Or Not To Teach?!

If you are anything like me, you have debated on whether or not foreign language should be included in your homeschool when teaching your younger children (preschool – elementary). I understand that it is always something that can be done at the middle-school-and-beyond level, but research has always prompted me to do otherwise. I am a strong believer that children will benefit from being exposed to more than one language. Sure, there is plenty of research out there to suggest that being fluent in another language is “easier” when you are young, but fluency is not what I’m after. In taking in all the articles I could handle over the past 5 years, I have decided to “expose” my children to different languages and see where their interest takes them. For instance, our daughter Hannah took two semesters of Spanish classes at a co-op in North Carolina and really enjoyed it. She even has a Nana whom she could speak to any given day to help reinforce her mastery. She still speaks it very well and she is only 10. But now, living in Germany, Hannah has a very big interest in speaking German. And why not? Language immersion is definitely our method of choice, and we are in the perfect place to do it! This week marked the official start of our German language curriculum. I am excited to see what we can accomplish while living in Deutschland over the next several years!

We have decided to use the Power-Glide German elementary curriculum this year. It is a great mix of stories, activities, and art for the children. It is designed very well to captivate and motivate all levels of young learners.

Power-Glide Levels 1-3

In living abroad, it has peaked my determination to expose our children to as many languages as possible, after all, there are so many to choose from! And with the international adoption bug planted on our hearts nearly a decade ago, it would also be beneficial for the family integration with the new child when that time comes upon us! To me, teaching a foreign language is a definite MUST DO for our homeschool :)

Carlie K.


Here are a few links to some articles that helped me make an informed decision regarding whether or not to teach a Foreign Language to younger children:

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleId=60

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084303.htm

http://www.actfl.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3653

http://www.brighthub.com/education/languages/articles/99675.aspx