Getting second language learning right
Second language instruction needs to begin at an early age.*
Younger learners are far more likely to attain and retain native- like pronunciation than older learners.
Experts recommend that children begin sustained sequences of foreign language instruction in the elementary grades.
Weizmann students begin daily second-language instruction in Kindergarten.
Students should attend second language classes at least three times per week.*
Second language proficiency is directly related to the number of instructional hours that students receive.
Second language classes at the elementary school level should meet 3-5 times per week for at least 30-40 minutes per class.
Approximately 200 hours of instruction are needed for 25% of students to reach proficiency and approximately 700 hours are needed for 50% of students to reach proficiency.
Students are more likely to attain speaking proficiency when their classes meet 3- 5 times per week than when their classes meet 1-2 times per week.
When the number of instructional hours is held constant, more
requent practice of language skills leads to higher levels of student performance.
Weizmann students receive daily second-language instruction.
Students need a continuous K-12 sequence of foreign language instruction.*
Elementary foreign language programs must link to higher grades to build the long sequence of instruction that is critical to developing linguistic proficiency.
Students who receive 216 hours of instruction in a single school year meet the proficiency targets than when classes are spaced out over two school years.
Weizmann students receive a total of nine years of intensive second language instruction.