Being able to speak a foreign language is an advantage these days. Some people think that children should start learning a foreign language at primary school, while others think children should begin in secondary school.

Discuss both views and give your opinion.

My answer:

Some individuals advocate introducing second language learning at the secondary level, while others, including myself, argue for an earlier introduction at the beginning of formal education, as the potential benefits can outweigh the drawbacks.

On the one hand, delaying second language learning until secondary school appears justified by the challenges early exposure can pose. Younger children are still developing their mother tongue, so learning two languages concurrently can lead to confusion and difficulties in distinguishing between the linguistic aspects of each language, impeding the development of both languages. Furthermore, primary education is crucial for establishing a solid foundation in key subjects such as mathematics and science. Adding another subject, a foreign language, may divert time and resources away from building this foundation, negatively affecting students' overall academic performance and future scholastic achievement.

On the other hand, it can also significantly benefit both younger students and their countries. It provides them with an extended timeframe to practice and develop their second language. Besides, their developing brains are highly receptive to absorbing new linguistic patterns, pronunciation, and vocabulary, further maximizing their chances of achieving advanced proficiency in the language before entering the workforce. This will grant them a competitive advantage in the global job market and expand their career opportunities, particularly in fields such as international business and tourism. Moreover, a bilingual workforce can bridge cultural gaps and foster international cooperation, strengthening diplomatic ties and enabling the nation to tap into new markets, ultimately driving the economy forward. Several nations, including Singapore, Finland, and Canada have leveraged early foreign language learning to become global hubs for diplomacy, business, and trade.

In conclusion, the potential problems of early second language acquisition in hindering the development of the native language and foundational subjects are overshadowed by its numerous advantages, including increased chances of becoming bilingual, improved career prospects, and expanded global opportunities for individuals and their countries. Hence, it is advisable to integrate foreign language learning into the primary school curriculum.

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