Languages Magazine

Common Myths and Facts About Children Learning Languages

By Tlb
Open book - learning languages

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For years, science has been excellently promoting how learners have become very effective when they learn languages on an early age. Researches shout out that “The younger the learner, the better”, as what some have believed.

Unfortunately, there are some certain beliefs that seem to hinder learners from letting them learn foreign languages. Usually, it’s the parental factor that hinders these youngsters to learn languages.

That is why this article is posted for those parents who are inconspicuous in letting their children learn languages. Let this article be an eye-opener to differentiate the mythical beliefs of people concerning language learning from the factual ones.

1. Being bilingual from an early age significantly modify the brain structure

This is actually a fact. According to a recent brain research, scientists have discovered that bilingual adults have developed denser gray matter in the brain’s left hemisphere, where most language and communication skills are controlled. This is actually the area where information-processing nerve cells and fibers are located. If learners are able to learn language as early as five years old, they are actually more proficient as far as their brain structures are concerned.

2. When parents don’t speak Russian, their children learning this language at home will affect as to how they will pronounce the words properly.

This is a complete myth. There is nothing wrong when children who perhaps learn Russian at language schools will not get confused with their native language and their target language. Language shifts are normal for human behavior, regardless of how young the learner is.

3. If learners are learning foreign languages and are not able to continue, they will lose everything they’ve learned.

This is also a myth. Based on facts, “a student re-learning a language more formally later in life will have retained the ability to speak with a native accent, the meta-linguistic knowledge and the language learning strategies, even if he/she needs a refresher on specific vocabulary and grammar.”

4. Children who learn another language young demonstrate better focus and multitasking skills.

It’s an absolute fact! Research can prove how people with multiple languages have enhanced memory systematic planning. They are even versatile individuals to do multitasking activities. You see, their brains are train to attend to the most important information and set aside minor information, that’s why they’ve become more alert and mentally active compared to those who are monolingual.

5. Young learners can independently rely on videos and CD’s already. They don’t need language classes anymore.

It’s a myth! Taken from a source by Patricia K. Kuhl from Cracking the Speech Code, “9-month-old American babies who played games with and were read to by Mandarin speakers could still hear Mandarin phonemes at 14 months after only a dozen 25-minute Mandarin sessions. A control group could not. Babies who were exposed to videotaped Mandarin could not.”

You might want to add up the lists. Feel free to do so.

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