Major: International Economic Relations
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5 Myths about the Language Learning
1. It is easier to study second language for adults than for children. This thought is correct. There was a research where adults and teenagers have been compared to children in studying a second language. As it turned out, adults and teenagers studied the new material better, still children were better in pronunciation. Due to different hypothesis there is a social difference in ability to study languages. Children have lower requirements for communication. They don’t need to much to learn to interact with other children, whereas teenagers and adults need to obtain a certain level of language skills to feel themselves confident enough to communicate, that’s why they acquire special language learning strategies.
2. Immigrant children have learned how to speak very quickly and have only some problems with writing. It’s not true. Some people just don’t take into account that there are different levels of language proficiency. If a child seems to speak the foreign language with no problem while he is in the playground, it doesn’t mean that he will do the same in a classroom situation. There is less time needed to master face-to-face communication than the language which is necessary for understanding more demanding situations, like school lectures. It takes a child almost 2 year to develop the ability to understand the foreign language and up to 5-7 years to develop academic language.
3. Before, immigrants used to learn foreign languages without any special programs. It is a wrong statement. It was "sink or swim" and they were just lucky. Moreover, before, the level of education needed to get a job was different.
4. It is easier to obtain a second language when your parents speak in it at home. This myth is also wrong. It is better to combine two languages than to speak exceptionally one.
5. There is one more incorrect opinion, that the person will learn the language quicker if he/she spend much time soaking up in the classroom. It is important to have comprehensible input, because the language is not soaked up.
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