Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 33, Issue 1, pp 11–16 | Cite as

Foreign Language Study in Elementary Schools: Benefits and Implications for Achievement in Reading and Math

Report

 

Educators and policy makers in many countries have been expressing concern about how to improve students’ achievement in reading and math. This article explores and proposes a solution: introduce or increase foreign language study in the elementary schools. Research has shown that foreign language study in the early elementary years improves cognitive abilities, positively influences achievement in other disciplines, and results in higher achievement test scores in reading and math. Successful foreign language programs for elementary schools include immersion, FLES, and FLEX programs.

Keywords

immersion dual-language FLES FLEX foreign language second language elementary school increased cognitive skills increased achievement test scores NCLB. 

References

  1. Abbott M., 2003. Interview of U.S. Secretary of Education Roderick Paige by Martha Abbott, President, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Foreign Language Annals 36(1): 140–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Berguno G., Bowler D. M., 2004. Communicative interactions, knowledge of a second language, and theory of mind in young children Journal of Genetic Psychology 165(3): 293–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Collier W. P., Collier V. P., 2003. The multiple benefits of dual language Educational Leadership 61(2): 61–64Google Scholar
  4. Cumming-Potvin W., Renshaw P., van Kraayenoord C. E., 2003. Scaffolding and bilingual shared reading experiences: Promoting primary school students’ learning and development Australian Journal of Language and Literacy 26(2): 54–68Google Scholar
  5. Friel B., 2003. Don’t know much about history National Journal 35(31): 2550–2501Google Scholar
  6. Feng Y., 1999. National college entrance examinations: The dynamics of political centralism in China’s elite Journal of Education 181(1): 39–57Google Scholar
  7. Fowler F. C., 2001. Testing French style Clearing House 74(4): 197–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freeman Y. S., Freeman D. E., 2004. Dual language essentials for teachers and administrators Heinemann Portsmouth, NHGoogle Scholar
  9. Garcia, P. A. (2001). A French immersion charter school: Kansas City’s Académie Lafayette. The ACIE Newsletter, 4(20), retrieved September 26, 2003 from http://carla.acad.umn.edu/ACIEarticles/Feb2001_kansasfrench.htmlGoogle Scholar
  10. Hakuta K., 1987. Degree of bilingualism and cognitive ability in mainland Puerto Rican children Child Development 58(5): 1372–1388CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Landry R. G., 1974. A comparison of second language learners and monolinquals on divergent thinking tasks at the elementary school level Modern Language Journal 58(1/2): 10–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Marcos, K. M. (2001a). Second language learning: Everyone can benefit. The ERIC Review, 6(1). Retrieved February 15, 2003, from http://www.eric.ed.gov/resources/ericreview/vol6no1/langlern.htmlGoogle Scholar
  13. Marcos, K. (2001b). Why, how, and when should my child learn a second language. ERIC Elementary and Early Childhood Education Clearinghouse [parent brochure]. Retrieved February 15, 2003 from http://www.eric.ed.gov/resources/parent/language.htmlGoogle Scholar
  14. Milloy M., Fischer L., 2002. To learn a language NEA Today 21(1): 22Google Scholar
  15. Pufahl, I., Rhodes, N., & Christian, D. (2001). What we can learn from foreign language teaching in other countries. ERIC Digest. Retrieved July 15, 2003, from http://www.cal.org/ericcll/digest/0106pufahl.htmlGoogle Scholar
  16. Roberts, J. W. (2002, April 4). The case for foreign language. The Charlotte Observer, retrieved September 22, 2003 from http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/2002/04/04/news/2994426.htmGoogle Scholar
  17. Rosenthal B., 2004. No subject left behind? Think again NEA Today 23(2): 26–27Google Scholar
  18. Turnbull M., Lipkin S., Hart D., 2001. Grade 3 immersion students’ performance in literacy and mathematics: Province-side results from Ontario (1998–99) Canadian Modern Language Journal 58(1): 9–26Google Scholar
  19. Weatherford, H. J. (1986). Personal benefits of foreign language study. Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement. (ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics No. ED276305)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hempfield Area School DistrictGreensburgUSA
  2. 2.World Languages DepartmentHempfield Area School DistrictGreensburgUSA

Personalised recommendations