The Little Prince of tinsel town was in the news yet again. Standing in the lawn of the Pataudi Palace, Taimur Ali Khan was snapped posing with his Spanish teacher, Eshleen Jolly. Though the photo has raked in thousands of likes — it draws attention to one question — is learning a foreign language at such a young age beneficial for children?
Studies conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, D.C., show that children who can communicate in more than one language excel at critical problem-solving, score higher in academics and are more empathetic. They not only understand their own culture in-depth but are also open to exchanging ideas with those belonging to other cultures.
Usha Sahoo, founder of city-based Mandarin teaching venture, Yeh China, shares how they focus on elementary students between the age of three to seven years. “We design in-house content and modules to help them grasp the language through various pedagogical tools like flashcards, songs, storytelling, body movements etc. We have created over 1,500 videos, in addition to worksheets and handouts for them.”
Their virtual classes in the lockdown have reached 360 children globally. “The age bracket is perfect to learn a new language as they are open to learning new skills and absorbing new language systems,” she shares, adding that they are offering Spanish and French classes for pre-schoolers too.
Cost Rs 3,500 onwards
Log on to yehchina.com
Dadar-based Fujiwara Japanese Institute founded by father-daughter duo, Mahesh and Rumy Joshi, have been conducting virtual sessions during the lockdown.
“The last decade has seen a steady rise in interest among parents wanting to enrol their kids in the course. Our modules cater to children without overburdening them. As the need for fluent interpreters for business and political alliance rises in Japan, emulating the skill could boost careers in the future,” shares Rumy. Each of the five Japanese Language Proficiency Test modules takes six months to master. Over the weekend, they also teach scripts to children above five years.
Cost Rs 12,500 onwards
Log on to japaneseclassesmumbai.com
Bandra-based Instituto Cervantes-accredited Hispanic Horizons offers two types of Spanish classes. While the session for children between six to nine years has four levels, the session for 10-to-12-year-olds focuses on A-levels and preparations for international exams.
Cost Rs 7,900 onwards
Log on to hispanic-horizons.org
Studies highlight various benefits of learning foreign languages
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