EARLY FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING – METHODOLOGY ASPECTS
At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, the question of early foreign language learning (EFLL) is on the agenda because of the changed economic, political and social conditions in human life. There is a clear tendency to lower the age limit for starting training in relation to the general trend of early childhood development in the family and in the society. Traditional views are changed because the child’s inclusion in the foreign language culture from a young age develops language skills, forms the beginnings of a secondary language personality, promotes the development of the intellect, the development of all psychic processes, which in the long run will help that person become socially successful. In the world of learning a foreign language, age is a particularly debated subject. In language learning, EFLL should correspond to the process of natural learning of the mother tongue. The article makes an in-depth and impartial analysis of the arguments for and against the acquisition of a EFLL, citing research by prominent scientists in the field. The most serious arguments in the main thematic studies are examined, with the relevant conclusions drawn and the outline of the positive and negative aspects of the application of early foreign language teaching methods. On the basis of this psychological-pedagogical analysis, the term EFLL is defined as the unity of the cognitive, cultural and emotional components, namely: the development of the child from the earliest age of elementary foreign language skills, most of the time receptive ones; inclusion in foreign language culture; development of the child’s personal qualities with specially organized classes such as: curiosity, responsiveness, willingness to cooperate, development of psychic processes (phonemic hearing, attention, perception, thinking, memory, sensory sphere). EFLL up to 3 years is conducive to the beginning of language learning, it is a tool for developing the child’s creative thinking, memory and imagination. The most important for such training is the criteria for: accessibility, consideration of the needs and interests of children, communication. The process of language learning for children up to the age of 3 becomes effective within a structural and functional model developed on the basis of system, activity, and media approaches. This model has 4 interconnected and interdependent blocks - targeted, meaningful, organizational and efficient. Some common methods of the organizational model block applicable to EFLL (Glen Doman, Makoto Shichida, Maria Montessori, Masaru Ibuka) have been analyzed.
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