Language Education and Children

General discussion about learning languages
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tarvos
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby tarvos » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:30 pm

I did not have delayed production... I think it may depend on the child.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:43 am

tarvos wrote:I did not have delayed production... I think it may depend on the child.

Everything varies by child and by family, of course, but looking at individuals, there's no way to tell the difference between "not delayed at all" and "delayed prooduction by an otherwise-early talker".
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby tarvos » Thu Mar 22, 2018 8:55 am

Perhaps. But I only started English at 2, not from birth.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby PeterMollenburg » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:42 am

DarrenDaka wrote:Hi guys

I have been thinking a lot recently about bilingualism particularly bilingualism in children and how children are raised multilingual. I am interested in any comments but in particular by those who have successfully raised their children multilingual. How did you do it? What were the problems? What techniques did you use? etc I'm also interested in hearing from anyone who was raised as a multilingual child and what the experience was like etc and anything really pertaining to how you feel about it now and what being multilingual has done for you.

Hope to hear form you guys soon :)


My daughter is bilingual. But bilingual constitutes a broad range. You can be bilingual and have much weaker abilities in one language. Still, her ability to comprehend French is very close behind English, to the point it'd be hard to choose a 'winner'. When it comes to speaking, she tends to want to answer me some of the time in English. Her French speech is perhaps 75% as good as her English. I will tell her to answer me in French when she uses English with me. She does. Sometimes if there's some resistance, I have to give her a clue in the form of half the sentence, which she then completes for me.

The reason for a lot of my success with her (she's nearly four), I feel is only ever speaking to her in French. Admittedly I've probably 'slipped' and spoken a very small amount of English to her (a word or so) a handful of times, and utilized English perhaps a dozen times to aid in defining a French word. But I strictly forbid myself from doing that, yet on the rare occasion I've broken my own rules, swearing to myself to not do it again, because it doesn't help. The stricter I am (while kind, not mean) the better the results. If I start answering her in French when she speaks English (instead of correcting her and encouraging a French sentence in place of the English one), the more that floodgate opens and English comes to the forefront very quickly. Thus, the door must remain shut, if it's ajar, well there's a whole reservoir of English behind that door.

She watches French TV (films, cartoons, educational TV) around 85% of the time, has stories read to her 50% of the time in EN, 50% in FR. Music is around 85% French (and she sings along at times). She finishes off words for me in books sometimes if I trail off and slow down for whatever reason. She has even corrected me here and there when I've accidentally mispronounced a word. She attends 2 French play groups or kindergarten classes once a week, both on the same day (one morning, one afternoon).

Both of her native French teachers are very impressed with her - one stating from very early on that her level of French comprehension was excellent despite her not speaking much (in the beginning, this has changed). The other more recently stated her French is better than some French children raised by Francophone parents in Australia. I'm not a French native speaker. I started speaking French with her from when she was born, which was when my level was not that far beyond B1, (now at B2 and beyond), which adds to my desire to improve my French. Accent is a very important part of my learning process. I'm not sure I would've done this, had I felt my accent was too clearly obviously foreign (i.e. not French sounding). My wife encouraged me to do this from the start. I was initially reluctant. At times I feel like it's kinda perhaps slightly sad or limited that I won't communicate with my children in my native language. Doesn't matter, I just need to get even better at French in every which way possible and they still hear me speak English with my wife.

I realise that when school starts, it will, theoretically be a massive challenge holding back a sea of English. But I have some weapons up my sleeve. Home schooling (I'm planning to educate her in French for my part, my wife in English), and time in Francophone countries with an intended 12 months abroad in the coming one to two years if we can manage to pull it off.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Whodathunkitz » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:01 pm

Cainntear wrote:
tarvos wrote:I did not have delayed production... I think it may depend on the child.

Everything varies by child and by family, of course, but looking at individuals, there's no way to tell the difference between "not delayed at all" and "delayed prooduction by an otherwise-early talker".


Looking at my child and other children, my OPINION is that children don't advance in any regular way.

One child will latch onto a skill and practice and practice (to the point of exasperated parents), master the skill and then move onto the next one.

So the child development books that say "by 2 years a child should do a,b...e" would be better saying "by 2 years a child should be able to do 4 of these tasks..."

My child was sofa cruising at 7 months (never crawled), could do alphabet/spelling games at 12 months (game on a phone); looking at a video of him doing a number jigsaw at 21 months - he can't talk! Just some burbles, not even loads of sounds.

Other kids at a younger age are chatting away but might have been later walking, reading etc.

It's hard research to do (I'm guessing) - so anecdotes may be more useful than usual.

Differences with families, siblings/time with adults, home/nursery, extended family, genetics, gender, birth weight?

Someone's mum said that she didn't speak until she was 3. The first thing she said was a full sentence.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:28 pm

Whodathunkitz wrote:It's hard research to do (I'm guessing) - so anecdotes may be more useful than usual.

Differences with families, siblings/time with adults, home/nursery, extended family, genetics, gender, birth weight?

Someone's mum said that she didn't speak until she was 3. The first thing she said was a full sentence.

Research says that's perfectly normal -- late speakers without any learning disability tend to suddenly start but be at a very similar stage to their peers. In fact, there are many cultures where babies aren't spoken to, and aren't actively pushed to talk, and while this leads to much later speaking, it tends to spontaneously emerge as full formed sentences and there's no real difference by school entry age.

This is the sort of thing that informs the "you learn by listening not by speaking", line, but even if that's true for L1, that doesn't automatically make it true for L2.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:30 pm

However, there are some researchers who've claimed that talking to babies helps them lean some of the social conventions of language use - questions and answers, turn taking etc.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Elexi » Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:00 pm

I think (without evidence, of course :lol: ) that a distinction needs to be made between bilingual children who come from a family where the minority language is spoken at home by both parents (e.g. Spanish by Mexican immigrants in the USA, Indian subcontinent languages in the UK) and those who parents each speak their own language at home. It seems more plausible to me that a child who has to switch between different languages situationally (e.g. at home and at nursery/school) is more likely to experience language delay than the situation where a child is spoken to bilingually at home.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Cainntear » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:33 pm

Elexi wrote:It seems more plausible to me that a child who has to switch between different languages situationally (e.g. at home and at nursery/school) is more likely to experience language delay than the situation where a child is spoken to bilingually at home.

Actually, experts are suggesting that it's the other way round, and that one-parent-one-language is trickier because there isn't as clear a context, and that bilingualism may be more readily achieved by having languages associated with certain locations and activities.
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Re: Language Education and Children

Postby Elexi » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:54 am

Thanks for that info. Most interesting.
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