Home > Discussion Topics > Language Learning and Pass Bands: Achieving the ‘Perfect Pitch’ in a 2nd Language.

Language Learning and Pass Bands: Achieving the ‘Perfect Pitch’ in a 2nd Language.

The Nagawoshi International School website has posted some intriguing information about their bilingual immersion programme model and about pass bands.  A pass band is a range at which a language is heard in terms of Hz.  How well versed are international schools in 2nd language acquisition?  The following is what Nagawoshi had to say:

Why do we teach English to young children?

“It has been proven that there is a barrier found in the brain, formed by the age of 6 years old, which acts as a sound barrier. Before the age of 6 however, children are able to recognize sounds more easily and are able to reproduce many of these sounds. This ability to hear and reproduce allows the child to naturally acquire language through physical sound. After the age of 6 years old, children begin to intellectually learn language. In order to acquire language, specific input of sounds and languages (English and Japanese) need to be provided at the same time for children at this critical stage in childhood development.”

What is ‘Perfect Pitch’? The necessity of early sound education.

“It is well known that infants already have the ability to hear sounds when they are in the mother’s womb. Through extensive study, dramatic findings in the fields of music and linguistics by Dr. Don Cambell and Dr. Alfred Thomasty were produced. These studies found a high correlation between high frequency and the development of brain nerves. What was concluded was that ‘sounds that he/she has never heard would not be included in one’s voice,’ that is, it is necessary for specific sounds to be heard during early childhood in order for those sounds to be reproduced more accurately in the future. Japanese people have difficulty with English pronunciation and basic listening, even though they study and hear English throughout their lives. This can be related back to an ability to hear frequencies between 125-1500 Hz and an inability to hear English’s 2000-12000 Hz frequencies. Being that a child listening ability is developed and completed between the ages of 3-6 years old, the opportunity during this salient period in maturation cannot be missed. Children need to be educated at the appropriate time in their developmental cycles. (Professor Norimasa Kamata, Former Professor of Education at Kagoshima University.)”

“Immersion Education is one of the important parts of an instruction which brings up children who acquire both English as a second language and Japanese as their first. By immersing children into English through daily educational activities, the opportunity to learn sound, rhythm and word usage in English through music and play becomes natural. It is a special opportunity for young children in their most important and flexible stage of life to be able to master languages in a supportive surrounding through interaction with native English teachers, friends, family and the community.”

The table of perfect pitch according to age
Age
3yrs
4yrs
5yrs
6yrs
7yrs

Average skill to acquire Perfect pitch

2.5~3
2
1
0.5
0

Excerpts of this article are taken from this school’s website:

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