Objective: the interculturally aware child

The early start involves calling up all available resources in order to give children the best possible prospects for development in the foreign language learning process; this involves the emotional, creative, social, cognitive and linguistic dimensions of overall childhood development. But it also very much involves intercultural communicative competence.

A child who is alert to and interested in the intercultural dimension has the potential to develop later into an intercultural speaker and this is a declared aim of current foreign language teaching.

The learner’s foreign language competence is no longer measured solely against the linguistic competence of native speakers, but in terms of his or her ability to master the multiple and various tasks of intercultural communication. For the child learner, and in early foreign language teaching, the types of stimulus and educational content provided should form a basis on which the open-mindedness and tolerance of the intercultural speaker can find scope to develop. The early encounter with the foreign language must awaken interest in languages, foster enjoyment in language-learning, and ‘motivate the child to converse meaningfully in a language not his or her own’.

    The early start in foreign language learning, while concentrating on development of linguistic competences, should also foster general and intercultural abilities and learning strategies.
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      Frühes Fremdsprachenlernen

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