According to the Organic Law 3/2020, from 29th December, common to all mainstream schools in Spain, the main objective in the area of foreign languages, in primary education, is to make students Communicatively Competent through the active use of language in communicative contexts;
Children should start learning a foreign language in kindergarten and continue through high school. Learning languages helps increase listening ability, memory, creativity and critical thinking – all of which are thinking processes that increase learning in general. In addition to developing thinking skills, foreign language study exposes children to other ways of looking at the world. In today’s world it has become a need to know, at least, one foreign language in order to guaranty a full formation to our children and as promising future as possible. Learning languages has become a must in today’s society.
Some key benefits are:
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.
Enhancement of cognitive skills. Foreign language learning enhances cognitive development and basic skills performance in elementary school children. Children who are adequately exposed to two languages at an early age experience are more flexible and creative, and reach high levels of cognitive development at an earlier age than their monolingual peers.
Enhancement of communication skills. The study of foreign languages has also been shown to have positive effects on memory and listening skills. While children are developing the ability to communicate in a different language system, they also learn to see language as a phenomenon in itself.
Personal Benefits. Many personal benefits can be gained from the study of foreign languages; individuals who study foreign languages and cultures help themselves toward international and intercultural communication and enhance their career potential in the ever growing arena of international trade and cross-cultural professional exchange.
Por Andrea Cristina Rodríguez. Máster en Investigación en Psicología y Licenciada en Psicopedagogía.