Teach English to four-year-olds, schools told

The independent educational council (Onderwijsraad) is recommending that primary school children begin learning English as soon as they start school at the age of four.

A spokesman for the council confirmed a report on the recommendation to news agency ANP on Thursday.
Most primary school children currently get some English lessons from the seventh grade, two years before they go to secondary school. But this is much too late because the younger children learn languages the better, the council says.
The best way to learn a foreign language is by ‘total immersion’, the council says – meaning entire lessons should be given in the other language with an emphasis on speaking rather than grammar and spelling.
Upping the English quota at primary school would require major improvements in teachers’ language skills, however, the council points out.

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