Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2019


This literature review looks at the benefits of teaching foreign language at the elementary level versus at the secondary level. The review examines the linguistic and cognitive benefits of learning a foreign language at different levels. Young children are slower at learning languages than adolescent learners, in all aspects of language. However, young children gain many cognitive advantages from learning a foreign language and are more likely to become indistinguishable from native speakers. Foreign languages should be taught at the elementary level because it helps with literacy in English, it enhances problem solving, attentional control and the ability to switch tasks, but most importantly, young children are intrinsically better language learners, and will, therefore, become more proficient and retain more as early exposure will increase the amount of input.