Research from around the world has shown that it takes more than three years to fully learn a language and that it’s best for children to learn in their mother tongue for the first six years at school. Ideally, English should be presented as an additional language during this stage - gradually introduced as a co-teaching medium. This gives children the best of both worlds. “If a learner cannot really understand the language of instruction, it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to grasp the content of the subject. Often children simply just learn things by rote with little or no comprehension.”
In addressing the challenges of finding a balance between mother tongue and standard English education, Carol Bloch from Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa argues that “unless conditions are appropriate, it is very difficult to learn a foreign language well enough to learn through it.” Read the article here.