Does it help to take a child to visit other country to their language skills?

Taking the child to visit in a country where the parent’s language is the language of the environment is a great idea!, it is very helpful. If it is practical: taking the child to visit other country at early age 2 to 4 years old, help them a lot in their language skills and sending the child to spend time with grandparents at about the age of eleven or twelve is also a good idea, for many reasons.

This is probably a good place to remind parents and children that a multilingual environment is also a multicultural environment, and that it is very difficult if not impossible to separate language from culture. Without a context (culture) for the language, the child will have difficulty making sense of the meanings underlying the words.

My Old daughter (5 years old) is completely bilingual English, Spanish now, she values the languages. I took her to Peru when she was 2,3 and five. I did not think too much about how she learned Spanish, everything was natural for her, she will speak Spanish to me and turn around and speak English to her Dad with not problem, but..

My youngest one she is 4 now. She went to Peru when she was one year old and she hardly remember that of course. but I have being talking in Spanish to her since always!, and she never will answer me in Spanish, she spoke English to me and everybody, she did not want to speak Spanish At All.

When she was 3 almost four years old, I thought to myself Gezzz! can not believe she does not speak Spanish at all, after all this time I have being speaking Spanish to her and putting a lot of effort into that. She understood everything I say all the time, but she couldn’t make any complete sentence at all.

So I decide to take her to Peru plus need to get some things done there as well. I stayed for a month, it took her one week to start making whole sentences. ONE WEEK! could you believe that? by the second week she was making perfect sentences and speaking  Spanish fluently.

I thought SHE DID NOT KNOW how to make sentences, she did not know how to speak Spanish. I have to confess I WAS WRONG!. She had everything in her little brain, everything!, it was just she did not want to, WHY? because she did not value the language, she did not think other kids in other countries speak Spanish as well, she did not think that was an important language to learn, she did not think she need the Spanish at all.

First week kids will say to her, I can not understand you, kids will speak Spanish to her and since she understood she will speak English back and kids will say again I can not understand you, can you speak in Spanish? that was it, she want the kids to understand her, she is very relational, she want to play with the kids, have a good time with them.

My oldest daughter she is very perfectionist, she cares more about speaking right and doing things right so I may say traveling to Peru helped her a lot but more it helped her in speaking it right, like conjugations like: Yo fui, el fue, nosotros fuimos, ustedes iran.. etc. which took her a lot of time to learn until we travel to Peru she learned in one month.

But to  my younger daughter traveling to Peru helped her to understand that Spanish is important too, just as important as English, in fact she will have more friends if she speak more languages, she love having friends.

I will say if you are capable to travel to other country. DO IT, do not think it twice! GO! if you are not, well groups of kids who know the other language will help a lot!

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Will my kids get confuse if they learn two languages at the same time or maybe a third language?

It is entirely possible to teach an infant two or even three languages, and four is not unheard of.

In Europe, a great many toddlers learn four languages with little or no difficulty. Some countries in Europe offer children in the early grades of elementary school the possibility to learn to read and write in their ‘home’ language

The main requirements for this learning are: the parents speak only their mother-tongue to the child because the child will have some reason to learn the languages (motivation); and there is reinforcement of some kind for these languages, preferably outside the home. If the language of the environment is a third language, then the child will easily learn the third language once they start playing with neighborhood children. I t is very possible a child learn 2 or more languages at the same time.

Parents who want their children to learn their mother-tongue must realize that it will take work, beyond simply speaking their mother-tongue all the time to the child. Especially if the spouse speaks another language, which is the language of the environment, the parent speaking the ‘minority’ language will have to be sure that there is sufficient input for the child to learn and reinforce what has been learned. This means things like reading out loud (this should go on until the child learns to read on their own, and for a few years afterwards until the child says stop), singing to them and teaching them songs and nursery rhymes, showing video films in the parent’s language (radio is not as good as there are no visual clues), and having other adults or children talk to the child in this language (grandparents are invaluable here). Taking the child to visit in a country where the parent’s language is the language of the environment is also a good idea

There is considerable debate among linguists as to when the ‘language learning window’ closes, if it closes at all. However, there does seem to be an ‘optimal’ age for language learning, when the child’s mind is still open and flexible, and not cluttered with all sorts of other learning, not to mention the society’s views on which languages are ‘prestige’ languages, and which ones are regarded by the society as of little or no importance. The latter affects motivation: children will be admired for speaking a ‘prestige’ language, and teased and bullied for speaking a ‘non-prestige’ language. When the mind is being taught many many other things than language, there is less ‘processing space’ left for language learning.

At the moment, the ‘optimal’ time for learning a second language appears to be ‘at the same time as the first language‘, i.e. in the home beginning at birth to three years (providing the parents speak these two languages as their mother tongue). The next best time for learning a second, third, and even a fourth language, appears to be between the ages of two to seven years. A third period for learning a second language is from about ten to thirteen years of age, this is in cases when the second language is not the language of either the parents or the environment. This is the reason behind the push to introduce ‘foreign’ language learning into the curriculum of elementary schools, in the grade when the child is about ten-eleven years old.

We all should become bilingual! what do you think?

There are a lot of benefits from learning a second language ormaybe  a third language or forth language..

Learning a second language at an early age…

  • Has a positive effect on intellectual growth.
  • Enriches and enhances a child’s mental development.
  • Leaves students with more flexibility in thinking, greater sensitivity to language, and a better ear for listening.
  • Improves a child’s understanding of his/her native language.
  • Gives a child the ability to communicate with people s/he would otherwise not have the chance to know.
  • Opens the door to other cultures and helps a child understand and appreciate people from other countries.
  • Gives a student a head start in language requirements for college.
  • Increases job opportunities in many careers where knowing another language is a real asset.

About being bilingual I have to say I agree! 100%.

What do you think about what the president of United States have to say about this, feel free to comment, watch the video..

Which language is easy to learn? Spanish or English?

Well, while no language is simple to learn, those that are more closely related to your native language are certainly going to be easier to learn than ones that are not.

Learning a completely different writing system can also be a big challenge, though that does not necessarily make a language more difficult. Grammar and sentence structure can often play a larger role in difficulty.

Since it’s impossible to say with certainty that there is a language that qualifies as “most difficult”, See these statistics and rankings provided by the the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State which are intended for native English speakers. They say Spanish is one of the easiest language to learn… Wow! It is very important if we (parents) are Spanish Native Speakers, to teach our children Spanish as well so they can be bilingual..

What is the hardest language?