As you have read about the Piccolingo – an European program aimed to promote early language learning for preschool children; I am wondering and strongly hoping that this sort of project is achievable and manageable in the Dutch region.
The Lingua Franca Foundation (Lingua Franca Academy) – is seriously promoting such cause – wanting full exposure for very young children to adapt to more than one language. Having to master more than one language is considered a skill – and to be able to learn and sharpen one skill at a very tender age is a long lasting investment! Not many children having this unique advantage, but those who do, should be given full boost to further their knowledge in this field.
From my understanding and observation all these years, I can conclude that foreigners come to settle in this land of tulips for plenty of reasons. Some for work and business opportunity, some for furthering their education and knowledge, others for private reasons; for example wanting to re-connect to families who migrated to the the Netherlands long ago, and most of them come to this country for the sake of love. Here in the Netherlands, it is common to see many ‘mixed’ couple with ‘mixed’ children strolling down the street. Seeing that many children come from a ‘mixed’ environment – having families coming from diverse backgrounds and speak with more than one language – this environment should be more encouraging – and not being oppressed nor ignored! – to suit the need of the present and the future. It is proven worldwide that people who possess and practice more than one language can benefit more in life.
Most pre-schools here in the Netherlands only stress the importance of one language; the Dutch language. Learning another language is only stressed upon after the age of 10 in the dutch school system. This is definitely not an ideal learning environment since brain stimulation for languages starts at a very tender age. It is not a complicated manner. It’s rather simple actually. The younger you are, the easier and faster your brain capacity to absorb all information – ESPECIALLY when it comes to language. The brain works as a sponge – absorbing every word and store them all. The understanding of the word comes a bit later, but the very least is that the brain has been exposed to a ‘new’ word every time permissible!
It would be an idealistic world if you could see all generations able to socialize respectfully and with tolerance. Can this be possible? I surely think it is! If so, how? Well, personally, I think having knowledge of more than one language can break that barrier that keeps us apart and being ignorant. Language is a means of communicating; and to know more languages brings people closer and open their minds to the differences they have and learn to understand how to live with one another respectfully and harmoniously.
Everything has to start from somewhere. So, I think it is extremely crucial to start to learn another language from a very tender age. Not only the children learn another language and having fun by doing it, in addition and most importantly, they also learn that the world do not only revolve around them and they have to learn to live together and respect each other’s differences despite colour, race, religion etc. After all, at that tender age, children see pass the differences and the colour of the skin due to their purified souls. Then, perhaps, this idealistic world I mentioned before can actually exist…. Don’t you think so?
You can give us your opinion by completing the poll below…
You can also contribute to the discussion on our FaceBook Page here.
We appreciate your collaboration and we are really thankful for any ideas or suggestions, so don’t hesitate to make your opinion known to us. Thank you.