Foreign language programs are typically one of the first items on the chopping block when schools are hit with budget cuts. Unfortunately, cutting language programs severely compromises the skills and thinking abilities of children. In today’s global society, students can expect to work and interact with people of different cultures throughout the rest of their lives. Research shows that learning a second language as early as the elementary school level enhances cognitive problem solving, increases creativity and, surprisingly, improves math scores on standardized tests.
Children in the first to third grade group have variable reading and writing skills. Developing a strategy to improve reading skills, promote comprehension and build confidence motivates children to read, write and enjoy learning. Doing sports and coaching children can also play a big role in building confidence skills in this critical language arts building period.
Reading with children is an ideal way to promote reading skills and comprehension. Encourage children to work out unfamiliar words on their own. Employing strategies such as reading the next sentence to understand meaning and sounding out parts of the word enhance comprehension.