Graduation Date

12-2014

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Education

Department or Program Chair

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

First Reader

Madalienne F. Peters, Ed.D.

Second Reader

Elizabeth Truesdell, Ph.D.

Abstract

In the coming years, an increasing number of children in urban Chinese areas are taking a second language at an early age. It leads to an argument about whether it is appropriate for children to learn a second language in an early age Some people disagree that idea, because children are not developed enough to receive foreign language learning.

Learning a second language early is disadvantageous for young children because they should first learn to speak the primary language well. Whereas, other people support that children should start learning second language early for three main reasons: children’s talent for language study, the need ofglobal communication, and the educational achievement. The purpose of this study is to examine teacher perceptions of children’s potential for learning a new language, and the effects of bilingual education on young children.

Data were gathered from two kindergarten teachers in Fuzhou, Fujian, China and two teachers from San Francisco, CA, U.S. Teachers were interviewed about their viewpoints on bilingual education as an option for young children. Results indicated that early bilingual education is necessary for young children because language pronunciation shapes language confidence and proficiency. Implications of these findings suggest that children who have an interest in learning a second language may benefit from bilingual education. Children who are under three years old do not benefit from bilingual education.

Share

COinS