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Vietnamese girl speaks 11 languages

 Language Learning Forum : Polyglots Post Reply
108 messages over 14 pages: << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 13 14
Juаn
Senior Member
Colombia
Joined 3530 days ago

727 posts - 1830 votes 
Speaks: Spanish*

 
 Message 105 of 108
04 March 2013 at 1:08am | IP Logged 
s_allard wrote:
A tutor doesn't replace books, methods, the Internet or studying grammar, but for actually speaking the language, a tutor, in my opinion, is the best way to go if one can afford it.


I think this last paragraph sums it up well. When you're engaged with a tutor for the most part you're not learning a language but refining and polishing what you already know, and for this it can be very useful, especially where conversation is the main goal.

For the actual work of acquiring the language though, books and manuals are far and away the best means, and for advanced proficiency, outside exceptional circumstances, the only ones.

s_allard wrote:
But to come back to the thread, I think it's quite clear here that tutors are necessary to engage the young learner and to focus on pronunciation and verbal interaction. What's the alternative?


I agree with you here. Unless a genuine prodigy who is moved by an innate and overwhelming desire and will for learning and understanding is considered, I don't see what would motivate a young person to engage in the kind of work required to learn a language other than a living tutor or an immersing environment.
1 person has voted this message useful



s_allard
Triglot
Senior Member
Canada
Joined 3615 days ago

2704 posts - 5424 votes 
Speaks: French*, English, Spanish
Studies: Polish

 
 Message 106 of 108
04 March 2013 at 1:42am | IP Logged 
Juаn wrote:
s_allard wrote:
A tutor doesn't replace books, methods, the Internet or studying grammar, but for actually speaking the language, a tutor, in my opinion, is the best way to go if one can afford it.


I think this last paragraph sums it up well. When you're engaged with a tutor for the most part you're not learning a language but refining and polishing what you already know, and for this it can be very useful, especially where conversation is the main goal.

For the actual work of acquiring the language though, books and manuals are far and away the best means, and for advanced proficiency, outside exceptional circumstances, the only ones.


We may be splitting hairs here, but I think that a tutor is particularly important at very high levels of proficiency for two reasons. Firstly, as we become more proficient, the mistakes are more subtle and harder to detect. This has been my experience. As my fluency improves, I can hide my mistakes more easily. This is where the tutor is able to catch those little details.

As I said, the tutor doesn't replace reading or studying books and manuals. Their primary role is to offer constructive feedback of my speaking and writing performance.   I may think that what I've written is perfect, but it comes back with comments and suggestions that I appreciate because it helps me to improve.

The second reason a tutor is important even at the high proficiency level is for the use of idiomatic expressions and language register. I find it very useful to have someone show me how and when to use these expressions. Is this too colloquial? Or is this too formal? Is this spoken or written language?

In fact, I believe one can always use a tutor. All professional writer call upon the services of an editor. All publishing houses has editors who help to polish the language of the authors. OK, we don't call them tutors but their role is similar.

If I have an important speech to give, no matter how good I think I am, it seems to me really valuable to rehearse it before someone whose opinion I respect.
1 person has voted this message useful



doodoofan
Tetraglot
Newbie
Vietnam
japanesetest4you.com
Joined 2900 days ago

19 posts - 25 votes
Speaks: Vietnamese*, English, Mandarin, Japanese
Studies: Korean, Spanish

 
 Message 107 of 108
21 November 2014 at 8:53pm | IP Logged 
I think she is impressive, but it'd be impossible for a young girl like that to speak all 11 languages, except her mother tongue, fluently. I know you can't demand that she must speak all languages like a native speaker, but speaking all 11 languages at beginner level is totally different from speaking them at advanced level. Although having a tutor is good, I think you need total immersion for at least a few years to actually become good at speaking a particular language.

I think some people might find it weird (though not rare) that a little girl spends most of her time studying 10 languages like this. Many Vietnamese parents love praising their children in front of other people, so they want their kids to be special. It's not a good thing for kids, since they should develop naturally. Forcing young children to do something that's beyond their ability does more harm than good. I've read a lot of articles about child prodigy and in most of the cases the children ended up not doing anything magnificent when they grew up. Pressures from their parents and society turned them into a studying machine with no bright future at all.
3 persons have voted this message useful



ScottScheule
Diglot
Senior Member
United States
scheule.blogspot.com
Joined 3413 days ago

645 posts - 1176 votes 
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Latin, Hungarian, Biblical Hebrew, Old English, Russian, Swedish, German, Italian, French

 
 Message 108 of 108
21 November 2014 at 9:38pm | IP Logged 
Worked out well for Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Brahms. Arguably. Maybe they're not representative, and maybe she's not either, but she seems happy enough.


2 persons have voted this message useful



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