Languages are a powerful tool in early learning
The Sector > Research > Understanding Children > Languages are a powerful tool in early learning

Languages are a powerful tool in early learning

by Hannah Rother

March 28, 2024

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings are instrumental in creating a foundation for a child’s growth and development and the push for teaching new languages is growing.


There is evidence that exposing children to multiple languages in their early stages can have cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional benefits. This is often demonstrated through:


  • Problem-solving skills
  • Better attention control
  • Greater creativity
  • Increased vocabulary
  • Language fluency
  • Cultural awareness and empathy


Embracing mulitlinguism in ECEC settings can create inclusive learning environments, celebrating diversity and fostering a sense of belonging for children from diverse backgrounds.


Ways to implement language learning in ECEC:


  • General exposure – engaging with languages through books, songs, games
  • Input from families – sharing native languages and cultural traditions
  • Integrated curriculums – incorporating language into activities, routines and curriculum plans through active engagement and authentic contexts
  • Professional development – opportunities for staff to engage in workshops, webinars and other resources to enhance their own knowledge to share with children


By embracing language learning in centres, ECEC professionals can create a culturally sensitive environment for children to grow.

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