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English in Primary School

            In Sweden the local authority decides if the subject English should be taught starting from first grade. This means that many schools really do not teach English until the third or fourth grade. The problem of this fact is that the students would have brief knowledge in the English language in higher classes and lack if interest in learning languages. The solution to this problem as I see it is to make English learning obligatory already in primary school. Not starting English class until the fourth grade could have several consequences. First of all it has a negative effect on the students communicative ability, as they grow older. The students understanding level, both in oral and writing, will vary and the new language will not feel natural to communicate in. And because they are not exposed to the English language earlier it will be harder to pronounce it correctly. And secondly, it could lead to bad English scores on the national and international tests. These are a few of the consequences of not teaching English in primary school.
             Teaching the students English starting from first grade has many advantages. First of all the students self-confidence when it comes tom language increases and they get a good foundation linguistically. That is also what research results had confirmed during the years. The second advantage is that the children are more receptive to foreign languages at a younger age. That is important in matter of gaining language confidence and increasing interest towards learning languages even as they grow older. This interest gives them the opportunity to learn more about other cultures and values. The third reason is that a good pronunciation is something that comes more naturally the younger the students are whether they like it or not. The same goes to accents. The reason for this is that children are more sensitive to sounds and rhythms. This makes it much easier for them to imitate new sounds.

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