No-one is suggesting that she shouldn't sing Santa Lucia either in English of Italian, as long as the key is suitable. It's a folk song. Neither am I saying she shouldn't learn ANY songs in foreign languages. The discussion stems from the suggestion that she should be allowed to sing operatic arias or Italian art song, which I disagree with - at her age. There are plenty of suitable foreign language songs that children of this age can tackle, that her singing teacher can help with - after all we're all linguists, too. Arie antiche appear on the grade lists from grade 4 and are good starters for young voices - though not 8 year-old voices.
What do experienced teachers do with their own pupils? Choose songs for them being mindful of their age, gender, personality, stage of voice mutation if applicable, voice type - high, low, light, weighty - technical ability etc. We don't let them run before they can walk, but we don't hold them back either. There are far too many songs out there to enjoy for an 8 year old - in foreign languages, too - without delving into opera or art song. That's why there are 30+ choices in each grade listing, not the six or so instrumentalists have.
I'm glad there's now some general agreement that the girl should sing Santa Lucia (Calimero did a fine job of this song as I recall ) and I agree also that certain arias (operatic and oratorio) should be avoided for now. I'm so thrilled as I thought 'This lady' was 'not for turning'
It would be thrilling to hear how the young lady gets on