Second Language Studies:
Opening Doors to the World
research has been done over time to demonstrate the value of a student learning
a second (or third) language, Alberta Education provides information on the
benefits of second language learning:
The Impact of Second Language Education study shows the benefits
of learning a second language are much broader than simply the ability to speak
in another language. It reports on research that affirms the importance of
second language education on intellectual potential, scholastic achievement,
first language skills, citizenship and the economy.
The research conclusions in each area are as follows:
- Students fluent in two language score higher in both verbal and non-verbal intelligence.
- Students studying a second language are superior in divergent thinking tasks and in memory ability and attention span.
- Second language students have higher test scores in reading, language and mathematics.
- Each additional year of second language training created a greater positive differential compared to students not receiving a second language.
Effect on First Language
- Second language education significantly strengthens first language skills in areas of reading, English vocabulary, grammar and communication skills.
- The earlier the start, the greater the positive effect on the first language.
- Students studying a second language have superior cross-cultural skills and adapt better to varying cultural contexts.
- Students studying a second language display greater cultural sensitivity.
- There is an urgent requirement
for qualified speakers of languages other than English in areas of
science, technology, medicine and global commerce.
(Alberta Education taken from their research study "A
Review of the Literature on Second Language Learning, 2006: https://education.alberta.ca/media/616813/litreview.pdf)
French as a Second Language
The Board supports second language learning initiatives by supporting mandatory French as a Second Language classes from grades 4-6. French, is offered as an option for student in grades 7-12 at all schools in GPPSD.
Students also have the option to take second language courses in Spanish. Semester/Yearly course offerings at Charles Spencer High School and Grande Prairie Composite High School vary depending on the amount of student interest displayed.
a result of our belief in the value of second language learning, students in
GPPSD are expanding their horizons through language learning in English (for
non-English learners), French and Spanish. They are proud to be bilingual and are using
these skills to travel, to access a greater variety of employment opportunities
and to communicate with a greater number of individuals.