Language Learning

It is one of the bitter ironies of American education that we begin to offer foreign languages to students just as the window for learning them is closing.  Research, and probably all of our personal experience, shows that our brain is most receptive to languages before the age of 12.  In American schools, this is the first year that languages are offered!

According to a report by the European Commission, students in Europe begin learning foreign languages by ages 6 to 9, and that age is only decreasing, with some students beginning in preschool.  


I have discovered this firsthand.  I learned German as a youngster at the German School of DC, and what I learned has stuck with me.  So much so, in fact, that when I try to learn a new language now, I find myself speaking German instead!

If you would like to help your student take advantage of this fruitful time in their life, there are some opportunities in DC:

Casa Italiana:

Alliance Francais:;-Families.aspx

Arco Iris:

Spanish school in Vienna:

Spanish, French, and Mandarin:

Chinese, French, Spanish:


Mandarin, Arabic, French, Spanish:

Brazilian Portuguese in McLean:



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