Apprenticeship Language Learning (ALL)
"The second component of the strategy is for a universal apprenticeship in learning how to learn languages, to be located in the pre-school, infants and upper primary school years.
The goal of the ‘early start’ is to make the most of what young learners are naturally disposed to do with languages, especially their greater openness to new sounds, to experimentation, role-play, and other activities which early language learning requires but which older learners are often less willing to do.
This should be treated as an ‘apprenticeship’ in how to learn languages, how to come to know what languages involve and to gain control of language learning strategies and approaches. By cultivating a rich potential to learn languages among all students, whether they are new beginners or already speakers of other languages, students will be more likely to successfully transfer such skills to different languages, if they choose or are required to switch languages. Instilling language awareness, encouraging practical usage and learning how to learn languages, will likely result in increased student awareness and knowledge of English and its literacy. This is the outcome which research indicates routinely accompanies such learning.
Education officials, particularly in those states where early childhood services are co-located with ministries of education, should explore ways to encourage the inclusion of second language activities in the early childhood area, and to encourage increased numbers of bilingual personnel to undertake training and seek employment as tutors and teachers in the sector.
All states should aim to ensure that the pre-school years and the earliest years of schooling provide rich experiences of language encounter so that by the upper years of primary school a sense of bilingual awareness is widespread among all students. A priority of national language policy should be to support innovations in this early stage of education that support emergent bi-literacy, that is the links between initial English literacy and other language literacy and bilingual oral development."
Lo Bianco, J. (2009), Second Languages and Australian Schooling. Australian Council for Educational Research, page 69.
More from Professor Lo Bianco, on Esperanto as a suitable apprenticeship language....
For what all of that means to parents and teachers, click on the professor's picture.
There is more about the ALL strategy accessible by clicking the linked images below.