At present, the knowledge of two or three foreign languages has become an obligation. For a better learning of a language, the didactics attach particular importance to the teaching/ early learning of the language. Starting to learn a foreign language at a young age will not only lay the foundation for later learning but will also influence attributes towards other languages and cultures.
It is desirable to start learning and teaching the foreign language at an early age because a young child takes pleasure in the linguistic experience. The child is ready to repeat, to communicate, to imitate, to play, and is not inhibited by the image that others will make of himself. The kid is open to others and naturally endowed with exceptional linguistic acquisition capacities.
Thanks to the plasticity of his brain that the adult does not have the same degree, he can acquire linguistic mechanisms quickly and arrive at a good understanding and pronunciation of the foreign language. In these favorable conditions, the child can easily learn a foreign language provided that the learning continues in continuity throughout his schooling.
Needs and interests of the child
Identifying the needs of the child and their areas of interest is the essential step in designing an educational program for the child. The child needs to talk, to be listened to, to play, to touch, to manipulate objects, to explore, to discover; he has an innate curiosity. He likes to vary, to change, he is interested in why, and he learns to identify himself, to control feelings, to know and to distinguish between good and bad.
On the other hand, the needs and interests are not the same as a child of 3 and a child of 8 years, the age of reason. Thus, the teacher teaching these audiences at the student care center needs to know the cognitive development stages of each age group in order to relate them to the ways of learning.
Regardless of the age of the child, in a foreign language class, it is necessary to propose a learner-centered, interest-based and age-appropriate approach. The approach must remain global, multi-sensory, and play-oriented. The language to be acquired must be tackled not in a frontal, grammatical, but instrumental in a way. The language is used to perform tasks; it is used to do things.
In early French class, with the youngest, learning would go through songs, rhymes, stories, images, experiences, creations, games. With the older ones, the teaching centers could do simulations and create imaginary universes.
Pedagogy of the game
The most intensive occupation of the child is the game. For the child, the game is fun, and he indulges in it with pleasure. Hence, the child can learn better, with more interest and more seriously if the educational activities are presented to him in a playful way, passed by games.
Finally, depending on the different factors, several classifications are possible. Game pedagogy, an effective tool to motivate children, to arouse their interest and develop team spirit, is very present in the teaching of a foreign language.
At a young age, the link between the child’s development, his natural need to play and learning is more than obvious. Through play, the child has access to the language thanks to the repetitive language structures and the motivation he generates; he triggers a speech. Therefore, the game represents a situation of experimentation with the language and makes it possible to answer to real and authentic needs of communication which favor an implication in the learning of the language.
At an early age, the child has a capability of grasping the things quickly and acquires the excellent understanding and pronunciation of the foreign language.