Queensland: Francais is child's play

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Tue Dec 12 21:07:58 UTC 2006

forwarded from edling-list

Francais is child's play

Elissa Lawrence
December 10, 2006 12:00am

FOR most adults, learning a foreign language is an uphill battle. But for
these littlies, speaking French is all in a day's play. Spanish, Italian
or French lessons for tiny tots have taken off, with dozens of children
enrolled in classes at a new Brisbane-based language school the first of
its kind in Queensland teaching toddlers. AlphaTykes, at Kenmore in
Brisbane, has classes for children aged three to nine.

About 30 children have enrolled. A second centre will open next year, with
another 100 children expected to sign up. Three-year-old Bella Tulley
began learning Spanish six months ago and is now doing French classes. Her
mother, Annabelle Tulley, 31, from the western suburb of Anstead, said she
was amazed how quickly her daughter learnt the languages.

"It's amazing what they pick up. Even when I think Bella doesn't pay much
attention in the classes, she will be at home and start saying words in
French. It's quite amazing." Cindy Craig's daughter Jessica, 3, has been
learning French since October. "They are like little sponges at this age.
She counts and says colours in French," she said. Modern Language
Teachers' Association of Queensland spokeswoman Helen Best said "a second
language also gives children an insight into a different culture".


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