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ERIC Number: EJ1182301
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
The Need for Second Language Learning
VanTassel-Baska, Joyce; MacFarlane, Bronwyn; Baska, Ariel
Parenting for High Potential, v6 n5 p4-7, 9 Dec 2017
The need for language programs in schools is strong among gifted students, who need the depth and complexity provided by a world language program. Gifted students can benefit from exposure to global cultures, a deepened emphasis on conceptual learning, and an appreciation of issues that shape today's world. Second language learning carries high interest and a natural connection to another symbol system that can provide high challenge and complexity, two preferences the gifted have for learning. The gifted have advanced vocabularies and love to learn new words and phrases. Second language learning provides the opportunity to learn new words, many of which directly derive from English words. Even more common are the roots and stems of words from other languages. The gifted have inquisitive minds and curiosity about the origin of things. Second language learning of the romance languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, and Latin, can enhance understanding of the history of Western Civilization and, therefore, the basis of today's society. The gifted have complex thinking abilities that are enhanced by linguistic comparative analysis. Gifted learners can enjoy the complexities of the study of a language that has many characteristics similar to English but is also different in its grammatical structure and forms. The gifted have the capacity to make connections among diverse ideas. This trait is best nurtured by the access to ideas from multiple disciplines that allow connections to be made. The study of a second language promotes interdisciplinarity in a variety of ways. Gifted students are capable of beginning formal study of a second language earlier than high school because they typically possess early verbal abilities, have general interest in words and language, often are early readers with advanced English vocabularies, and have a desire to make connections among linguistic patterns.
National Association for Gifted Children. 1331 H Street NW Suite 1001, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-785-4268; Fax: 202-785-4248; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Parents
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A