To think that children who watch cbeebies are far too young to be 'learning' a different language?

(60 Posts)
Jane04 Mon 15-Jul-13 13:30:53

I just don't understand it, My nearly 2 YO DS isn't talking properly yet and the occasions when he does watch TV there are program's on there which teach him different languages.

I don't understand it confused

maddening Mon 15-Jul-13 18:19:25

The more you titillate the language receptors before they are 5 the better. This is the period that these receptors develop - for example if a child is never taught language the brain starts destroying these receptors as they aren't needed so if no language learning has started by 4-5 then the ability to learn is diminished. To the same end - excercise these receptors now helps brain development as far as language is concerned - just hearing the sounds helps.

My DD really likes it - she's not a natural sponge wrt languages (or if she is she's keeping it quiet wink) but her favourites are Lieb, Wei and Blodwen!

I really enjoy the fact that she's exposed to lots of languages - there are a few bilingual children at her pre school. Most speak English very confidently, and 2nd/3rd languages only with parents or sometimes each other (mostly the shy/younger kids/siblings) - but you can see the English speaking only kids following the conversations - they understand 'my toys name is x' in a different language, and respond appropriately in English even though they couldn't repeat the same phrase themselves.

I didn't really expect that, but I think it shows how much small children are capable of understanding, and I'm really pleased with how little a barrier language issues seem to be.

Wibblypiglikesbananas Mon 15-Jul-13 19:14:34

The younger the better when it comes to learning additional languages - there are studies that show that if a child hasn't been exposed to a certain sound by the age of six months, they may never be able to make that sound properly.

However, one of those programmes isn't going to make your child fluent! And neither is a primary school teacher with very basic language skills. I've been appalled by the standard offered in UK primaries since languages became a requirement.

Total immersion or prolonged contact with a native speaker is the best way - here in the US, people hire French or Spanish speaking nannies in a bid to ensure that their children grow up bilingual.

MiaowTheCat Mon 15-Jul-13 21:03:05

I was being taught the days of the week in Bengali by a bunch of 3 year olds a couple of years ago on supply - I was teaching them them in Spanish and they decided to reciprocate.

I have no issues with the Lingo thing on Cbeebies - I'd rather that any day than Dr Ranj's scary eyebrows singing the poo song.

And don't get me started on how craply managed and resourced languages into primary was done... I did Spanish (and Latin but that one's of limited use) at school, and did absolutely minimal (half an hour a week as we were top set so got a "taster" of it) French. Yet did our head look at which languages the staff were confident in? (I've been in schools where different staff taught different things depending on their strengths - so kids might get a year of French, of Welsh and Mandarin Chinese etc) Nope - we fell back onto the blanket UK position of "must learn French". However hard I tried to muddle through with resources with phonetic pronounciations for me scribbled on the back in pencil... it was always going to be just that - a muddle through and pretty fucking shite by my usual perfectionist standards. I could have done Spanish bloody well and engagingly though (and did on various odd 10 minutes spare here and theres).

PlainOldVanilla Mon 15-Jul-13 21:05:13

I think it's better their introduced at a young age.

Annunziata Mon 15-Jul-13 21:07:26

I would loved to have that when mine were little, they were brought up bilingual but it was harder without the internet and so many tv channels.

Lweji Mon 15-Jul-13 22:45:17

These are the best ages to learn a language.
Or at the very least to learn the sounds of different languages. It trains the ear and it makes it easier to learn them later on too.

Babies can learn 3 or more languages at one time.

sashh Tue 16-Jul-13 07:38:17

As someone else said it is normal for most of the world to speak at least two languages.

Early language learning, even just vocab is also beneficial as we lose the ability to make certain sounds as we get older and use one language.

Notice how difficult it is for a French person to say 'th'?

In Arabic there are two distinct sounds that to English (non Arabic) speakers sounds like clearing your throat, most cannot even distinguish them, those that do can't make the two sounds.

cory Tue 16-Jul-13 09:45:22

From what I remember of my own bilingual dc, they were not only able to handle their two languages from the start: they also understood about there being several languages from a very early age and could translate from one into the other or (when old enough to speak in sentences) could ask how you say something in the other language. Dd was not yet 2 when you could give her a word and ask her what that was in the other language.

Otoh I do not agree that it is irrevocably too late to learn another language after the age of 7: I have many colleagues who have mastered that feat and you couldn't tell them from native speakers.

And if you are not holding out for native speaker standards, but are happy to accept the ability to hold a conversation, read a novel and write an article in the other language, that was the kind of standard expected from us in 3 or 4 languages when I grew up, and we only started our first foreign language aged 10, our second in secondary school and our third in Sixth Form.

The nations who are best at foreign languages don't necessarily start teaching them very young: they just have very high expectations.

pianodoodle Tue 16-Jul-13 11:15:56

Not sure about DD but I've learned plenty from The Lingo Show :D

I'm also an expert in big world magic ;)

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