Table of contents:
- Learning without difficulty
- Solid pluses?
- Mess in my head
- Later - no worse
- The third is not superfluous
- One left
Video: In Two Languages - Society
Until recently, it was believed that bilingualism slows down the mental and intellectual development of a child, interferes with the establishment of social ties, and creates difficulties in learning. Thanks to neuropsychological research, it became known that this is not the case.
Learning without difficulty
Often on Russian playgrounds you can find Filipino nannies who speak to their little wards exclusively in English. Parents try to provide their kids with opportunities to learn a foreign language as early as possible. This way of teaching is considered optimal: “one language - one person”.
If the spouses are speakers of different languages, experts recommend that each parent speak with the child in their own language. For example, mom speaks to him only in Russian, and dad in English. The child is faced with the task of speaking two languages in order to be understood by significant people.
In international marriages, a very common mistake can be observed when one of the languages ceases to be necessary for communication. For example, a wife speaks to her husband and child in the husband's language. Or one of the parents speaks two languages with the baby, and the child quickly realizes that there is one language that is available to all family members, and it is not necessary to strain to learn the second.
The child loses motivation to be bilingual. Without practice, reading and writing skills are the first to suffer, and speech is gradually deformed. Often, in immigrant families, the child has difficulty expressing himself in his native language, distorting words, and speaking with an accent. Parents can take appropriate action and create a supportive environment for the balanced development of two or more languages.
Early bilingualism, in which there is a parallel study of languages, is called natural. He belongs to the age group from zero to three. At this age, the right and left hemispheres of the brain are involved in the learning process, while at a later age, the left. First of all, in a baby, this brain work forms neural connections that are necessary for instant switching from one language to another, from one type of activity to another.
Late bilinguals, who started studying after four years, and monolinguals do not have such connections. Another remarkable feature of the simultaneous comprehension of languages is that they do not influence each other, as in later learning. This means that if you speak with your child in different languages, his brain will not make any distinctions, for him all these phrases will sound in the same language.
There are many advantages of natural bilingualism - due to the coordinated two-hemispheric work, the brain becomes flexible, the speed of reactions and the general intellectual level increase. Such people become invaluable workers where non-standard solutions and creativity are needed. Also worth noting is the rich palette of emotional reactions. In schools, bilingual children perform better.
We only feel the charm of our native language when we hear it under someone else's heavens
Mess in my head
Some experts believe that the brain activity of babies is not ready for a strong acquisition of the language until three years old. At this age, children cannot understand language differences. Parents, of course, are touched by the multilingual assortment, but this creates a number of difficulties for the child.
Sometimes early bilinguals start speaking later than their monolingual peers, and among young patients diagnosed with dyslexia, a large number of bilingual children. This is due to the difficulties of mastering written speech, confusion with the alphabet, etc. At the time of correctional therapy, multilingual families are advised to abandon any languages, except for the one in which the child is studying.
Later - no worse
For children who started learning a foreign language after four years, the principle of mastering is completely different. This is due to the maturity of some brain systems that were not developed at a young age. Many parents are concerned about whether their child is able to cope with such a task, because, in addition to biological and genetic factors, memory capacity plays a huge role in the success of the study.
Age is also important, since the cerebral cortex is sensitive to any age-related changes. The later a person begins to master a foreign language, the more success will depend on his personal qualities - intellectual level and degree of control.
This does not mean at all that it is difficult for an adult to learn the language, it just will have to put in more effort. And if about early bilingualism it is customary to say "two languages - one thinking", then the meaning of late bilingualism (after three) is clearly presented in the expression "Learn two languages, get one more personality."
This type of bilingualism is also called coordinative - two language systems coexist separately with semantic bases. Each language has its own semantic nuances, and the late bilingual seems to incorporate the specificity of the language being studied and cultural characteristics. He is more sensitive and conscious in choosing synonyms that accurately convey shades of mood.
According to neuropsychologist Glozman and a number of other specialists, it is the consistent study of languages that is optimal. As a rule, children have already formed a phonetic and lexical layer, they know the alphabet in their native language, have the skills of writing and reading, that is, their language base has already been formed.
Late bilinguals perfectly feel the shades of speech, their vocabulary is richer.
More about this
Bilingualism. Features of bilingual education, or How to raise a successful child.
M.: Bilingua, 2016.
The third is not superfluous
Some children are faced with the need to learn a third language. For a baby under three years old, the number of languages does not matter, he will involuntarily assimilate the number in which they communicate with him. Older children will have to purposefully learn the language, but for them the study of the third, fourth and more languages will be much easier and faster than learning the second.
There is a simple explanation for this: a person develops a general idea of the ways of constructing speech in any language. According to L. N. Vygotsky, this idea is formed because a person analyzes the system of a new language through the prism of already known ones. A certain structural model of linguistic patterns is built in the child's brain regions, due to which the new language is located in the same area where the native language and the foreign language that the child has learned before are already located.
Left-handed children occupy a special place in the development of languages. It is known that left-handers are very capable of languages, art, activities that require non-standard solutions. Sounds like early bilinguals, doesn't it? As already mentioned, children who learn language naturally until the age of three "work" with two hemispheres. Left-handers also operate with both the right and left hemispheres at the same time, without a pronounced dominant of one of them, as happens in right-handers.
They are "naturally" disposed to learn foreign languages, their phonetic perception allows them to speak with little or no accent, even if the language was learned at a later age. These amazing children have an enormous memory capacity, which allows them to speak a new language in a short time.
By the way, "retrained" left-handers and ambidexters * demonstrate difficulties in acquiring language skills.
Bilingualism is an excellent brain trainer that allows you to keep your brain active and clear even in old age. With the right organization of teaching, languages can be learned in a balanced way and without "side effects", so develop your children and develop yourself.
Semenovich A. V
These incredible left-handers. A practical guide for psychologists and parents.
M.: Genesis, 2015.
* Ambidextri? I (from Latin ambi - "around" and dexter - "right") - equal development of the functions of both hands, without highlighting the leading hand; a person's ability to perform motor actions with the right and left hand with the same speed and efficiency.