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


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.

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Correspondence to Janice Hostler Stewart.

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Stewart, J.H. Foreign Language Study in Elementary Schools: Benefits and Implications for Achievement in Reading and Math. Early Childhood Educ J 33, 11–16 (2005).

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