Early Support for Grammar School Foreign Language Plan

Article excerpt

Byline: Melissa Jenco Daily Herald Staff Writer

Naperville Unit District 203 school board members expressed initial support of an elementary school foreign language program Monday but deciding how to implement it could present a challenge in an already tight school day.

The district's foreign language committee has been studying the issue and said that the program would benefit students both in learning the language and in overall intellectual development.

"Research indicates languages are much easier to learn at a younger age and, in fact, it's shown that a child that learns a foreign language during this sensitive period before puberty is more likely to speak it as a native speaker," said committee member Deborah Davison.

In October, the district surveyed parents about their preferences for an elementary foreign language program and found that the most favorable proposal was to teach foreign language as a distinct subject after school, which would be a voluntary class. …