You could say there’s no such thing as a worst time for children to start learning a language. But, vast amounts of research favours ‘the younger the better’ school of thought. In which case, how young does young actually mean?

ParentCo explains that, “…50% of our ability to learn is developed by age 4 and another 30% by age 8. This is why three-year-olds are encouraged to learn a second language. However, this doesn’t mean that 80% of one’s knowledge or intelligence is formed before they are 8 years old. It simply means that children develop their main learning pathways during their first few years of life.”

For this reason, it’s become more and more popular for 4-5 year-old reception class pupils to be introduced to the joys of learning a language. And not without good reason.

After all, the ability to communicate in multiple languages is a lifelong ace up the sleeve of any child, educationally, professionally and personally.

Perhaps surprisingly, reception age children are highly adept at picking up pronunciations and mimicking any new sounds they hear. These skills help to explain why learning a language can literally be child’s play.

But the traditional classroom setting isn’t the most conducive learning environment for reception age children. Instead, their brains are stimulated by play.

They can learn other languages with relative ease when an element of fun is incorporated, because they’re like sponges, absorbing the unfamiliar without getting overloaded or phased by it.


At award-winning La Academia, we help community groups, nurseries and schools with reception age language learning that the little ones love.

Get in touch for more information about our next Spanish course for reception age children –

  • When? Every Thursday from 15th September at 4.00-5.00pm
  • Where? La Academia in Cheadle
  • How Much? We don’t dictate set prices for children’s groups, making it a cost-effective option that’s based on the number of children per session

The Best Age for Kids to Learn a Second Language, ParentCo