By Mrs Wendy Hunt, K-12 French Language Teacher
Bonjour tout le monde! I am Wendy Hunt, and although I have been at Scone Grammar School since 2012, I would like to take the chance to introduce myself in my new role as a languages teacher.
This year we have re-introduced French into our curriculum, from Kindergarten right through to Year 8. I have always had a personal passion for languages, and have previously studied both French and Italian. Learning a second language is such a valuable opportunity, and the younger we learn, the better we are at it! I am currently still learning too as I am undertaking my languages degree through the University of New England.
So why learn a second language?
- In Europe, most children have learnt two if not three languages by age 9. Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. I noticed this especially when teaching kindergarten, often the children adapted more quickly and readily to French. This is because their problem-solving skills are enhanced along with thinking laterally.
- Did you know – there is also a proven clear link between learning another language and literacy skills, because learning another language contributes to the development of learning English. Not to mention it enforces you to brush up on your grammatical knowledge in English too.
- Recent studies have also proven now that learning a second language (alongside learning a musical instrument, engaging in mathematical challenges and enjoying the strategical game of chess), is one of the best brain exercise you can do, that can prevent and slow down diseases such as Alzheimer’s, later in life. Evidence based research is now proving, that being bilingual can slow this process down by at least 5 years.
- Culturally – learning a second language can open up many doors later in life. It allows you the opportunity to build connections with other people, understand how other people live, and immerse yourself in culturally rich and diverse experiences. The world is full of opportunity and learning a second language can open children’s eyes to this.
I hope your passion for languages has been reinvigorated too!