Register  Login  Active Topics  Maps  

Learning like a child learns their native

  Tags: Children
 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
49 messages over 7 pages: 1 2 35 6 7  Next >>
Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3084 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 25 of 49
16 August 2015 at 4:11am | IP Logged 
I have an opposite kind of experience. I rarely understand the families with small children, as they tend to use lots of non standard vocabulary,specific for this kind communication, sometimes even with words invented by the child (a few such words persist in many families for years, at least as a memory of the times long gone). The adults usually use more normal vocabulary (their non standard or slang words tend to be of the widely known kind) and speak about normal things.

I think all those "you don't trully learn a language as an adult" theories are not doing much of a service to learners. First of all, even adults can learn the language well enough to write novels in it, I wouldn't say Kundera is writing in French-like language despite having emigrated as an adult. And many emigrants sound native in the new language while forgetting the native one as the decades pass. Madeleine Albright sounds much more like an English native than Czech native while speaking either of the languages now.

A standard non-migrant learner is surely unlikely to learn the language to perfection, even C2 level exams do not require perfection (I am a living proof). But that still doesn't justify spreading such discouraging myths among the general population. Most people argumenting like "an adult cannot learn a language", "oh, the accent is such a problem" etc are just trying to make an excuse for their laziness, in my opinion.
6 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4984 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 26 of 49
16 August 2015 at 8:21pm | IP Logged 
ExRN wrote:
If you are put into an environment where l1 isn't spoken at all, surely l2 will take over no matter what age you are. So I believe you will start to think more in the language, speak exclusively in it etc.... So surely that language would become at a native level at so many years after needing to use it?(...)


I quote myself:
"(...)it's not that uncommon to achieve "decent fluency" if you expose yourself to massive amounts of the target language, are eager to improve, have plenty of opportunities to use the language in speech and writing and so on. Just like many people around the world are doing with their major second language. However, the step from "decent fluency" to "a new native language" is gigantic, and very unlikely to happen unless... well, you somehow "forget" your native language."

Help me to have a real native language
3 persons have voted this message useful



ExRN
Groupie
United Kingdom
Joined 1470 days ago

61 posts - 75 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Italian, Spanish
Studies: Dutch

 
 Message 27 of 49
16 August 2015 at 8:24pm | IP Logged 
jeff_lindqvist wrote:
ExRN wrote:
If you are put into an environment where l1 isn't spoken at all,
surely l2 will take over no matter what age you are. So I believe you will start to think more in the language,
speak exclusively in it etc.... So surely that language would become at a native level at so many years after
needing to use it?(...)


I quote myself:
"(...)it's not that uncommon to achieve "decent fluency" if you expose yourself to massive amounts of the
target language, are eager to improve, have plenty of opportunities to use the language in speech and
writing and so on. Just like many people around the world are doing with their major second language.
However, the step from "decent fluency" to "a new native language" is gigantic, and very unlikely to happen
unless... well, you somehow "forget" your native language."

Help me to have a real
native language


How can we start to forget our native language? Im not sure I would be happy about sustaining a head
injury in order to help achieve native fluency. I would however be willing to remove myself from English for
as long as it takes.
1 person has voted this message useful



mrwarper
Diglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
Spain
forum_posts.asp?TID=Registered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3301 days ago

1490 posts - 2500 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*, EnglishC2
Studies: German, Russian, Japanese

 
 Message 28 of 49
16 August 2015 at 9:01pm | IP Logged 
I have two friends, one born in the Netherland, the other one in Germany, who learned Spanish in their households and the national language through environmental immersion plus whatever help from their parents. Both families returned to Spain when they were still very young -- both of my friends forgot their 'foreign' native languages and remained monolingual in Spanish to this day.

Edit: however, I think it should be very difficult for an adult to forget his/her native language, if only because thought seems to incorporate linguistic elements early on (to the point most people don't think 'to think in language X' is an expression and often taken it literally), so it's very likely we all have our native language(s) bouncing to and fro inside our heads constantly, i.e. you I don't think you can lose it if this actually counts as if you 'use' it.

Edited by mrwarper on 16 August 2015 at 9:06pm

1 person has voted this message useful



aokoye
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3616 days ago

235 posts - 453 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese

 
 Message 29 of 49
16 August 2015 at 9:09pm | IP Logged 
ExRN wrote:
How can we start to forget our native language? Im not sure I would be happy about
sustaining a head injury in order to help achieve native fluency. I would however be willing to remove
myself from English for as long as it takes.


Step 1: Move to a country that doesn't have English (in your case) as an official or defacto official
language.
Step 2: Go to university or get a job where you aren't using English (this is going to require a very
high command of the language you're using while working/studying).
Step 3: Don't hang out with people who frequently speak English with or around you.
Step 4: Make sure that most of the media you consume is not in English.

Starting to forget or almost totally forgetting one's native language isn't too unusual. You actually see
it a lot among children who immigrate at young ages (assimilation and such) and I know of a lot
of adults who have said that their native language(s) have deteriorated because they haven't been
using them as they've moved to a country where the language isn't used.

I don't know if it helps one gain fluency, but if you have the resources (a good chunk of which are
going to be monetary depending on where you want to go and what country/countries you're a
citizen of) it's totally doable.
1 person has voted this message useful



aokoye
Diglot
Senior Member
United StatesRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 3616 days ago

235 posts - 453 votes 
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese

 
 Message 30 of 49
16 August 2015 at 9:34pm | IP Logged 
I think it would be useful to define "native fluency" and contrast that with a definition of "near native
fluency" especially in the face of things being said like:

Quote:
However, the step from "decent fluency" to "a new native language" is gigantic, and very
unlikely to happen unless... well, you somehow "forget" your native language."

(from jeff_lindqvist)

Edited by aokoye on 16 August 2015 at 9:35pm

1 person has voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3084 days ago

3277 posts - 6777 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 31 of 49
16 August 2015 at 9:40pm | IP Logged 
It's an extremely common situation, many emigrants keep forgeting their native language as years and decades pass. How much they've forgoten and how much their speech is affected (pronunciation, accent, fluency, vocabulary, grammar mistakes, outdated phrases) depends usually on the amount of time spent abroad and the limit to which they kept contact with the language. Whether they read books but missed opportunities to speak, or spoke in the household but didn't need anything complex, whether they had a penpal and visitors from their home country...

I'd say it is a scale. One extreme are people who know only their native language and none of the language of their new home. Second extreme are people who forgot their native language completely or almost completely and function only in the new language, which is not easy to identify as not a native one.

The most interesting are, however, all the people in the middle, such as Madeleine Albright. It looks almost as if she had been an English native who has spent a lot of time learning Czech and has achieved a good level, not vice versa. Or our former minister for foreign affairs, Schwarzenberg. He had spent decades abroad in emigration and kept reading czech books. He is fluent, even though he speaks with mistakes and his accent is foreinger-like. And a specific piece of interest: he is quite an old man with health issues and you can hear that when he speaks. But he speaks much more clearly in German than in Czech. That is more than just accent or vocabulary, German appears to be clearly easier for him to function in.
2 persons have voted this message useful





jeff_lindqvist
Diglot
Moderator
SwedenRegistered users can see my Skype Name
Joined 4984 days ago

4250 posts - 5710 votes 
Speaks: Swedish*, English
Studies: German, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Mandarin, Esperanto, Irish, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 32 of 49
17 August 2015 at 12:34am | IP Logged 
So ExRN, which language do you think you could learn to such a high level (and use so much) so you would somehow forget your English? Would you stop thinking in English? If so, at what point? Could you stop thinking in English if you lived in the Netherlands? In France? In Azerbaijan? In Guinea-Bissau?

I don't have any evidence, but I can't even imagine English taking over my Swedish, let alone something else taking over my English. I know it's a scale, like Cavesa says, and I think that other factors involved are the language combination and possibly your (and the language's) status. If your native language is English and you somehow want to forget that by living in, say, another Western European country, good luck. A Czech native might have an "easier" time forgetting Czech if there's no literature (or internet) available in a rural area in a non-European country.


1 person has voted this message useful



This discussion contains 49 messages over 7 pages: << Prev 1 2 35 6 7  Next >>


Post ReplyPost New Topic Printable version Printable version

You cannot post new topics in this forum - You cannot reply to topics in this forum - You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum - You cannot create polls in this forum - You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page was generated in 0.3125 seconds.


DHTML Menu By Milonic JavaScript
Copyright 2019 FX Micheloud - All rights reserved
No part of this website may be copied by any means without my written authorization.