I read this article on the BBC news website yesterday:
It does not surprise me. Often I feel quite ashamed to be British, and to be so poor at languages. Also, it is simply intuitive that a younger child will learn a language more easily; last year in France, my then two year old mastered basic words and greetings in French, and used them with other children in a swingpark. Friends of mine who are overseas missionaries often tell me how easily their children master the complex sounds and tones of other languages (I am thinking here of some of the Asian languages, where a word can completely change meaning if spoken in the wrong tone).
So really, I need to think more concretely about language learning for my toddlers. The main question that catches me out is, 'Which language?'. In Britain, children tend to be taught French. That has its uses, but would it be the best? I suppose there is also Francophone Africa to consider too... As a family, we believe we will work overseas again in the future, but as yet are unclear about where! If we were still in Africa, or knew where we were heading, the choice of language would be easy. One of the Chinese languages would be an asset, especially with the development of China. Or maybe Spanish, opening up both parts of Europe but also Latin America...
I wonder whether any of you have any thoughts on this? Have you started language learning yet? Which language did you choose and why? Is there a particular curriculum you follow? Thanks for sharing!
- I am a Christian mother of five, and our highest goal as a family is to serve God in every aspect of our lives. Jesus promised His disciples 'life in all its abundance' (John 10:10) - that has been our story, a rich life, not devoid of challenges, but certainly abundant. Previously writing at www.homeeducationnovice.blogspot.com, we have come to realise that education is just one area where our faith shapes our choices and direction in life. This blog seeks to share our adventure.