The importance of learning languages

December 23 2013

LAUNCHING on Gloucester Road in the spring, is a new French club for kids. The classes promise to be full of fun games and creative activities to get primary school children off to a flying start.

By Alice Watson

LAUNCHING on Gloucester Road in the spring, is a new French club for kids.
The classes promise to be full of fun games and creative activities to get primary school children off to a flying start.
It is widely understood that learning a foreign language to a high level is good for the brain at any age. However, it is easier and more efficient for children.
Chatting in foreign tongues is a form of mental gym, which limbers up a child’s brain for education in all subjects. Studying a language early in life provides the skills to pick up further languages later on.
It is estimated that three quarters of British adults cannot speak any of the top 10 global languages, and the economy loses £48 billion a year due to lack of language skills.
GCSE languages became non-compulsory in 2004, Modern Foreign Languages lost value in students' eyes, and Britain slipped further behind others in global competitive terms.
The current government is tackling the problem, however, will introducing languages into the primary school classroom in September 2014 turn the tide?
Bilingual Scandinavians who have never set foot in an English-speaking country achieve their linguistic prowess partly through consumption of English-speaking media. American sitcoms may endow bizarre idioms and an American drawl, but they also provide a sound grasp of grammar and a wide and varied vocabulary. We need to adopt similar immersive tactics.
Resolve this year to bring the colour of foreign languages into your life. As a community, let’s support the transformation of attitudes to languages, and banish the British stereotype to history.
For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/FrenchClubBristol or contact Alice on: alice_m_watson@msn.com