Bilingual Education for Young Children: Recent Research
This is the first of a two-part Guest Editor’s Note. Part One (this issue) reviews briefly the state of knowledge about second language learning. Three key facts about bilingual education and young children will be addressed: second language learning is never too early, never too much, and, in addition, offers non-linguistic benefits (Byers-Heinlein, 2013). The second part (in a future RJAS issue) will report on the status of second language learning in the schools of selected countries in Southeast Asia. Childhood bilingualism: earlier is better. Many teachers and parents in Asian countries are becoming more and more aware of the importance of children learning English. The increasing use of English on food and clothing labels, on store fronts, and transportation facilities (airports, bus and train stations, for example) will not have escaped their attention. School children, too, nowadays are often exposed to English when they watch their favourite TV cartoons or commercials, or when they go to a newly released film at the local cinema, or peruse books in the school library or in book stores.
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