The Importance of Early Formal Education
Early formal education refers to the education that children obtain during early stages of their childhood. Early childhood is a crucial time period for the development of the mental functions of children. This development, including the emergence of the abilities and skills in areas such as language, motor skills, psychosocial cognitive, and learning, is now known to be greatly influenced by exogenous factors, including the nature of the educational environment to which the child is exposed during the first eight years of life. The benefits of early childhood education have long been disputed. For many years it was believed that children who receive early formal education have an advantage over those who start school at age five or six. Today, some educators challenge that view. They speculate that intellectual and emotional harm can result from putting very young children into structured learning situations. It is hard to deny the opponents opinion that children have always grown up to be intelligent and reliable young adults without the benefits of early childhood education. However, in my opinion, I feel like children who receive early formal education will have advantages over those who start school at age five or six because early formal education can provide a good foundation for real learning for young children, encourage the children to organize their thoughts, communicate and social with other people, and develop children’s cognition and know the importance of friendship. First, providing a good start for real learning for young children in the future is one of the reasons that I think children should attend early formal education before first grade. Children can attend early formal education, such as preschool or kindergarten before they begin elementary schools. All human beings learn to speak a language that they hear. The language children hear in their early years is the language they will reproduce, whether that would be English, Spanish, Swahili, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, or whatever. “In a country like ours, although English is the language spoken by the majority immigration has always brought us substantial groups who speak languages other than English. In addition, regional differences and educational levels present a variety of English-language dialects as models to children, so that there may or may not be homogeneity of language spoken in kindergarten classes in many parts of the country” (Cohen 58). Number of immigrants into the United States is increasing in recent years. Therefore, it is bringing different languages and affecting homogeneity of language in the preschool and kindergarten. "Granting, however, that every language serves the purposes of its users, we must also concede that schools, the press, and the government in our country all use Standard English. There is therefore a unifying value in every citizen's ability to relate to and to use Standard English, but not because it is better. Standard English is likely to be the first language for school for most children in the United States" (Cohen 59). For instance, we are living in the United States, and of course we should know how to speak English. Also, children who grow up here should learn how to speak English fluently to get higher education and get a good job in the future. Especially, children who speak another language at home have to learn English as a second language. For example, my cousin, Nhung, was born in Vietnam. She had come to the U.S. when she was one year old. She spoke Vietnamese at home and did not speak English at all. Because Nhung’s parents did not know to speak English, they could not teach Nhung how to spell, read, or write in English. Finally, when she was four years old, her parents decided to let Nhung go to preschool. They wanted Nhung to have a foundation to begin with English in higher levels. From...
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