Sunday, 19 February 2012

Do Infants Only Learn "One" Language Well? (4)

Do Infants Only Learn "One" Language Well? (4)
Multilingual Education Does Lead to the Infant Development
The myth that one has first to speak well one’s native language before learning a second language is counteracted by the studies showing that children who master two languages understand the structure of each language better and apply them in a more conscious way.

Therefore, multilingualism helps foster other competences related to language. These positive effects are clearest when the second language is acquired early; a multilingual education Does NOT Lead to a delay in development.
Sometimes, very young children may confuse languages but unless there is a defect in acquisition (such as poor differentiation of sounds), this phenomenon later disappears.

Theories on bilingualism and multilingualism have been particularly based on cognitive theories. Future school programmes on language learning should rely on successful examples of teaching practices and be informed by research on the brain, current or future, on ages favourable to language learning (Sensitive Periods).

"Understanding the Brain", The Birth of a Learning Science, 2007, page 118

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