Early foreign language learning today and perspectives for the future
There is an observable trend worldwide for foreign language learning to begin earlier than was the case fifteen years ago. Initiatives in the planning, curricularisation and implementation of early learning programmes on a systematic and cross-institutional basis, and training of the requisite teaching personnel, are widespread.
Studies conducted at national and international level are furnishing convincing evidence that early foreign language teaching can fully live up to the expectations placed on it. Children learn their new language eagerly.
Given good conditions, they acquire basic communicative competences and language awareness. These successes have been shown to depend on the fulfilment of prerequisites in terms of language policy and pedagogical and language-teaching practice that in many countries and regions are still not being adequately addressed .
 Cf. Edelenbos, Johnstone & Kubanek (2006), Edelenbos, Kubanek (2007), Engel, Grooth-Wilken & Thürmann (2009)