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Early Language Learning

Since research shows that an early language learning experience generally results in the development of native or near-native pronunciation and intonation, ACTFL recommends that students be provided the opportunity to learn a second language as early as possible in school. This early language learning experience not only helps to develop native-like pronunciation but also promotes higher levels of proficiency if the student continues in a well-articulated sequence of language learning. Research corroborates additional benefits including strengthening of literacy in students’ first language, raising standardized test scores in other subject areas, and developing comfort with cultural differences. These benefits accrue with instruction that is continuous throughout the school year, connected grade to grade, and more frequent than twice per week, adding up to at least 90 minutes per week, at both the elementary and middle school levels.