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Study finds language, achievement benefits of universal early childhood education

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Universal child care that starts as early as age one improves language skills for young children, especially those from low-income families, according to a study of Norway’s child care system by a team of researchers led by Boston College Lynch School of Education Professor Eric Dearing. Offering high-quality child care beginning at age one is reducing early achievement gaps in Norwegian communities, the team reported in a recent edition of the education research journal AERA Open.” (more)

Why it’s great to learn a second language

Health 24 – Staff Writer

“Is learning a second language on your bucket list? Here’s compelling evidence to get started right away. Numerous studies at institutions, including Penn State, have found that learning a new language is great for brain health. It can strengthen your brain just as exercise strengthens your muscles. And like muscles, the more you work at it, the stronger your brain gets.” (more)

Meeting Teachers’ Needs to Help Dyslexic Students Succeed

Language Magazine – Shantell Thaxton Berrett

“The beginning of a new year always brings new education policies and strategies. U.S. educators currently find themselves in a rapidly changing time for dyslexia legislation, and many schools are in the process of transforming the type and level of support they offer to these students. In 2015, the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services created a policy identifying dyslexia, dysgraphia, and dyscalculia as specific language disabilities.” (more)

Why Children Learn Foreign Languages So Easily?

Brain Blogger – Viatcheslav Wlassoff, PhD

“Many researchers believe that learning foreign language before the puberty and even better earlier allows children to speak more fluently, almost like native speakers. In addition, learning more than one language at early age improves lifelong ability to communicate with others and contributes to cognitive development and cultural awareness. Many studies suggest that the best time to introduce a foreign language is before the age of ten. At this early stage of life language is learned and acquired faster, retained better, and spoken with exceptional pronunciation. It is widely accepted that the younger the learners, the more successful they are at imitating new sounds.” (more)

Back-and-forth exchanges boost children’s brain response to language

Medical X-Press – Anne Trafton

“A landmark 1995 study found that children from higher-income families hear about 30 million more words during their first three years of life than children from lower-income families. This “30-million-word gap” correlates with significant differences in tests of vocabulary, language development, and reading comprehension. MIT cognitive scientists have now found that conversation between an adult and a child appears to change the child’s brain, and that this back-and-forth conversation is actually more critical to language development than the word gap.” (more)

I’m future-proofing my child with Chinese lessons – we should all be doing the same

The Age – Nicole Webb

“Research will tell you, learning any language at any age is beneficial and learning a language as a child should almost be a rite of passage. A study from Pennsylvania State University found learning a foreign language provides a competitive edge in career choices, enhances listening skills and memory and improves the knowledge of one’s own language. Multilingual people, especially children, are skilled at switching between two systems of speech, writing and structure. As an added bonus, according to a Macquarie University senior lecturer in literacy in a multicultural society, Dr Robyn Moloney, is that “After learning a secondary language, subsequent languages are easier to learn – patterns can be recognised a lot faster.” So no matter the language my now six-year-old is learning, be it Italian, French or Spanish, I’m delighted. But, still, we’re keeping up the Mandarin. For her and for me.” (more)