Enhancement of cognitive skills. Multiple studies have shown that foreign language learning enhances cognitive development and basic skills performance in elementary school children.
Development of a global attitude. During their elementary school years, children are open to ideas of global understanding. Study of a foreign language and culture can serve as an important vehicle by which to expand their intercultural views. In our increasingly global economy, a deep understanding of one’s own and other cultures can provide access to a greater number of career possibilities.
Enhancement of communication skills. While children are developing the ability to communicate in a different language system, they learn to see language as a phenomenon in itself. Children become aware that language and its objects are independent of one another, and that there are many ways in which to refer to one object. The study of foreign languages has also been shown to have positive effects on memory and listening skills.
Achievement of proficiency. Studies show that there is a direct correlation between the amount of time devoted to language study and the language proficiency that the students attain. Therefore, children who begin in elementary school have a better chance of developing a high level of foreign language proficiency than do students whose foreign language instruction begins in the post elementary school years.