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How to raise a kid polyglot? Version 2012

  Tags: Children | Polyglot
 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
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Senior Member
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 Message 1 of 13
03 June 2012 at 8:44am | IP Logged 
---The children will lead us---

How to raise a kid polyglot or even a globalglot?


One main thing that kept me coming back to this forum since last year was to see whether there was any new information on Wendy Vo, (an eleven year old Vietnamese girl speaks 11 languages).

I had wanted to talk about her, but I lacked some crucial information about her language acquisition. I could see the outward evidences of the independent one-step processing of different languages, but did not know and could only surmise about the learning milieu and methodologies employed by her parents to imbue her with the gift of polyglossia.

With the discovery of Mabou Loiseau 5 Years old Mabou Loiseau Speak 7 Langs, I think I found the missing half of the information.

With what I have, though limited, I would like to finally start discussing about the subject of methodologies and approaches of translingualism more in detail, taking the young children as our teachers, in connection with other significant elements, that is, the issue of immersion and habit formation.

I would have expected that the language, educational and relevant scientific communities have already swarmed around them and produced several hundreds more amount of researches and discussions about them, but to my surprise they have not received the due attention that they deserve. I will thus try to break the ground and lay a basis for the future discussions on them.

We will limit this discussion here to analyzing and evaluating the foreign language learning milieu(immersive) and methodologies(habit forming) of Wendy and Mabou. For those who are also interested in related topics, please check What is an effective immersion method?, and Language as Habit, even as they are simultaneously being discussed in an attempt to connect some important dots together to bring out the outline of a larger picture of what the path-breaking direction of the project of foreign language learning for the next thirty years is about, the picture of which will also shed us with new insights and understandings about the general topic of language learning and how human potentiality is grappling with the theme of globalization and planetization in its linguistic aspect at this particular juncture of human history.

I hope that the discussion of this topic will yield some beneficial insights and understandings
--into how one can raise a bilingual, trilingual, polylingual and even globallingual kids, and
--into how we can learn foreign languages more effectively.

Edited by futurianus on 03 June 2012 at 11:44am

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4784 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 2 of 13
03 June 2012 at 8:49am | IP Logged 
from What is an effective immersion method?

I may have to sometimes coarsely express myself, skip much explanations, somewhat disorganized with my delineations and ramblings, not correct misspellings and typos to keep my time for writing short. .

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4784 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 3 of 13
03 June 2012 at 9:19am | IP Logged 
Key concepts

Let me quickly jot down some key quotations and concepts so that just in case that I should not be able to devote much time to this thread, the readers can still get the clues to the key ideas of this discussion.

from Language as Habit
--Acquiring a language is developing a set of new habits.
--Learning or acquiring foreign languages must incorporate certain aspects of immersion, whether by actually being in the target country or by creating certain elements of immersion through various learning methods and approaches.

from 5 Years old Mabou Loiseau Speak 7 Langs
--how much of each languages was being handled by the related independent language centers, whether or not the different nerve centers had grown within their brain, which handle different languages independently, and if so, how stable they have become; and
--how conducive are the learning milieu and methodologies used for them to assimilate foreign languages .
Outward signs of the former are mainly manifested in and through the accents, intonation, rhythm and manner of their speech, more so than in how many sentences they can mutter out in what kind of range of vocabularies.

immersion [opportunity]
habit formation [stimulus]

home as the womb of language learning [immersion]
parents as primary transmitters of the mother tongue [immersion]
polyglot parents and monolingual parents [immersion]
employing native au pair [immersion]
employing native tutors [immersion]
using only target language [immersion]
physiological and organic aspect of learning language [habit formation]
neurological growth of independent secondary language processing center [habit formation]
bypassing the primary language center [habit formation]
stimuli and growth of new nerves [habit formation]
play, having fun [habit formation]
stress free environment [habit formation]
home schooling vs school studying [habit formation/immersion]
number of languages [strategy]
choice of languages [strategy]
core primary languages [strategy]
secondary languages [strategy]
nature of proper stimulus [habit formation]
critical amount of appropriate stimulus [habit formation]
sociological aspect of stimuli [habit formation]
issue of identity and possession [habit formation]
crucial role of parents [strategy]
issue of age [habit formation]

future training of these kid polyglots
how to apply these principles to the reader's own kids
how to apply these principles to the reader's own language learning

implications for training future polyglots
implications for school education, both foreign language and general

exploring the upper limits of globallingualism
significance for panglotism

Edited by futurianus on 03 June 2012 at 2:45pm

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4784 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 4 of 13
05 June 2012 at 6:06am | IP Logged 
I have started the day today coming here straight first to write this post without even doing my language first.
To atone my 'sin' of having posted recent threads here, entangling myself in a bigger web of responsibilities....

Let me jump right into discussing about Wendy and Mabou to create the needed primary resources for discussing on the other topics.

I will have to write bit by bit whenever I can and this may take over a span of some period.


Home is the Womb of language learning

Wow! See Polyglot Mabou Loiseau Speak 7 Languages NOW! At 5 Years Old, Amazing

Mabou talking with her mom 3:45-->
French tutor holding Mabou and reading a book with her 5:43-->

Language is born out of much love and attention.
The most conducive environment for language acquisition must be as stress free as possible.
Like a samurai who face the life and death duel by emptying and calming his mind through years of practice in Zen meditation to let his full potentiality flow instinctively without clutters of fear and overly clamoring zeal, to let his true intuitive 'being' be immersed within the moments of the 'action', taking possession of and empowering the state of your own mind is of critical importance for assimilating a new language, especially for adult learners who need to consciously recreate the most natural way of the Nature.

Children having no concern for the result, but being immersed in the playing and having fun in the moment of listening and responding with the caregivers....
Have you ever seen a three year old being stressed out and agonizing over the difficulty of her mastering all the complexities and 30000 vocabulary of the language of her parents within two years of time?

Detached from the future goals and attached to the flow of the moment, within a clean and peaceful environment without the pressures of achievement and artificially concocted unnatural system of instruction.

The environment free of stress....

Home is the home of acquiring the language of the parents.
Home is the safest and most conducive place for learning foreign languages.
Home is the place where love and goodwill surrounds and soaks up the kid, so that her being, her brain and all the nerve systems are opened up and fine-tuned for the most optimum and maximum assimilation of the languages.


Edited by futurianus on 08 June 2012 at 3:47am

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Senior Member
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Joined 4784 days ago

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Speaks: Korean*

 Message 5 of 13
06 June 2012 at 7:18am | IP Logged 
'Acquisition' is that of forming a set of new habits.
It is habit formation.


Wendy Vo,child prodigy of music and language #1.
See the segment 4:30-8:00.   Tutors are trying to engage with Wendy. Wendy is more interested in eating cookies with one tutor, and in doing some dances with the other tutor, all the time being actively and naturally engaged in the target languages.

Wendy is not thinking about studying the language to become proficient in it so that she can have intercultural and interlinguistic exchange experiences later on when she grows up.
She is interacting with her tutors now in their languages inside their waters.
They are meeting inside the same waters.
The tutors waters are Wendy's waters.
The proficiency in that language, however, is being accumulatively growing bit by bit as a direct result.

'Studying' has the objective and intention to learn things so that one can use them at a later time in future.
'Acquisition' does not let this future centered orientation to influence much of the activities it is involved with the language.
It is already more or less engaged with the language, its culture and spirit.
It is immersed within the language's waters, while 'studying' is just dipping its toes in it.
It does not know better and therefore is not even aware that it is interacting in an immature and imperfect level.
It does not know better and therefore is opened up to soaking up the new language.
'Studying' is always preparing for and does not enjoy and live in the language.
'Acquisition' is always living and enjoying in the language.
'Studying' is always hungry, dissatisfied and under the stress.
'Acquisition' is always having a fiesta, consuming the bits of languages and satisfied.
'Studying' is stressful and stress can be 'poisonous'.
'Acquisition' is stimulating, and fun is 'life giving'.

'Studying' thinks that it cannot jump into the water unless it first gets all the accents, diction and grammar right, has gained a listening capacity for understanding much of the native's speeches.
It puts itself into a pressure cooker from its artificially concocted high expectations and standards.

The educational institutions and their mediocre and misguided methodologies which are shaped and adapted for the organizations and groups have acculturated its citizens en masse into a wrong habit of 'studying' .

Schools are most inefficient and oftentimes even counter-productive in its mass administration of language instructions. It often creates unnecessary and demotivating psychological hangups and fatally damaging wrong habits of studying, for what little help it gives with its instructions.

I suspect that the necessity for administration of tests and grading is the main culprit for crooking the system.

Sometimes we complicate the matters unwittingly to our detriment.
We need the structure, but it can suffocate the spirit inside.
Here lies the dilemma and difficulty of reforming our educational system.

We must make an arduous pilgrimage back to 'home' and become 'children' again.
We must get back into that primary raw water, learn how to lower ourselves into it to soak up its properties and vitality.
We must be baptized in that water to undergo the process of incubation and then to finally emerge out of it transformed and vitalized.

We must go back home, the true womb of language learning.


Why is this so?
It is because the stimuli received are different in nature and strength.
And why talk about stimuli?
It is because the stimuli are the life source for the generation and growth of the new nerve cells.
And why talk about new nerve cells?
It is because they control and operate a set of new autonomous functions within our brain-heart-nerve system that are manifested as new habits.
And why talk about new habits?
It is because they are what acquiring skills in a new language is all about.


Edited by futurianus on 07 June 2012 at 9:19am

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4784 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 6 of 13
06 June 2012 at 11:13am | IP Logged 

Let me elaborate it a bit more just in case some of you might be a bit confused about this and find it somewhat nebulous and vague.

Two people could be doing exactly the same things outwardly in an exactly same immersion environment.
Psychologically, however, one could be immersed and another not be.
Thus there are two aspects to immersion learning.
1. deliberately create or put yourself within an immersive environment
2. deliberately adapt your mind to get it soaked into that environment.

For the second step, a deliberate turning on of the switch within your mind to enter into the dimension and milieu of immersion might be necessary if you are cluttered with tenacious wrong habit and your mind is hardwired for 'studying' in the manner of studying other subjects such as science or math, or too wrapped up with the intention to only prepare for what you might think of as genuine future immersion experiences that await you.

This might be a concept, the understanding and significance of which may take a while to sink in.
It is dealing with a state and orientation of your mindset, and you may have to actually experience this mindset to have your 'ahas', 'eurekas' to fully understand this.

At the risk of being pedantic, I may have to repeat this concept over and over again to bring this home to some of you, if you are not familiar with this concept and state of mind, as it is not just an intellectual concept but something that you need to experience or be awakened into.

Your brain might understand it logically and intellectually, but it also must go down into your heart and belly..
You must hear and understand it with your whole being....
Certain things just take time....

It is a very simple concept but yet such a powerful concept that could change your whole approach to learning languages.

To approach a new language without this orientation could take one through the cursed pathway full of rocks and thorns, even making one give up learning the language in utter frustration and stress, even after having put a gigantic amount of energy and time into it.

Sometimes there is only a paper thin difference between being effective and not effective, between success and failure, between life and death.

It is this little difference that could shift and open up the dimension of new experiences and realities unseen before.

---The kingdom of heaven is within you---

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Senior Member
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Joined 4784 days ago

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 Message 7 of 13
06 June 2012 at 11:25am | IP Logged 
addendum: If you are enjoying your activities within the immersive environment, then your mind is also immersed in your target language and culture and you are most likely doing it right.
It is maximizing this experience consciously and deliberately which is what is at the core of effective immersion method.

---The kingdom of heaven is within you Now---

Edited by futurianus on 06 June 2012 at 11:29am

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Senior Member
Korea, South
Joined 4784 days ago

125 posts - 234 votes 
Speaks: Korean*

 Message 8 of 13
06 June 2012 at 12:30pm | IP Logged 
---Path of a Panglotter---

When you are encountering a new language in the native people, written works or audio-visual materials, if your main concern is to learn from them in preparation for your test or for your future genuine immersion experiences, what you will end up doing unconsciously is that of 'studying' it.
You are withholding the enjoyment of that experience at a vague point in future and feel that you must sacrifice your present time and effort for it, and never feel easy in the process of it or rather you feel that you should not feel happy while doing a 'serious study'.

Even at your very own home, however, when you are coming in contact with that language in any form or shape, you are encountering a genuine bona fide immersion experience.
Not in some vague future, but right here and now.
You are doing it, experiencing it and living it.
When you are conscious of what is or can really be happening, your mind can let go of 'studying' mentality, which wants to always prepare for non-real future experience or test, unclutter itself of stress producing garbages, and begin to enjoy the present experiences manifold more.

It is through dipping yourself in the waters of immersion multiple times, that you will gain and develop your 'animalistic sense and feeling' of what undergoing a genuine immersion experiences is like, and this sense will in turn lead and guide you in all your language learning experiences for the rest of your life.

Language learning can be such a stimulating and fun experience.
If you can get rid of wrong conditioning and habits which work against you, and should you be given enough time and quietness in life to pursue your language learning goals, you will have a feast of your life, even while others around you might be trudging along the thorny and dusty road in rags, hungry and thirsty, complaining and murmuring, kicking against themselves.

You may even want to walk the path of a panglotter.

While others might cringe at the thought of this, immediately imagining an unbearably painful and stressful torturous studying of so many languages, you will grin widely, your mouth becoming watery, feeling happy and grateful that our planet is offering such a rich variety of languages and cultures for you to experience, to eat and drink, to feast on, even worrying that all those tasty main dishes may eventually be emptied out.

Edited by futurianus on 07 June 2012 at 9:27am

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