Title

Early Second Language Acquisition

Type of Culminating Activity

Graduate Student Project

Graduation Date

12-2006

Degree Title

Master of Education in Early Childhood Studies

Department

Special And Early Childhood Education

Major Advisor

Carrie Mori

Abstract

Considerable research exists regarding the relationship between the age at which second language learning begins and the ultimate level of proficiency, especially regarding pronunciation. While children have an innate ability to acquire the rules of any language, this ability diminishes by adulthood. However, the majority of children are not exposed to a second language until after puberty. Based on the known significance of age in the introduction of a second language, together with the documented benefits of acquiring multiple languages, parental awareness and education is critical to enhance the educational needs of their child. This project is a handbook that (a) outlines the benefits of early second language acquisition, (b) educates parents on the developmental stages of language development from birth to age three, and (c) provides resources to initiate developmentally appropriate second language activities from birth to age three. This handbook begins with a description of language acquisition and outlines the significance of second language acquisition. The next section is organized into six age groups, each representing a developmental stage in language development. Each age group includes (a) a description of language development, (b) milestones, (c) ways to facilitate a stimulating learning environment, (d) a description of developmentally appropriate second language activities, and (e) recommendations to encourage the exploration of additional resources on the developmental stages of early child learning.