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Child learning a second language

Dear Parents and Teachers,

Prof. Dr. Novert Herkowitz and Prof. Manfred Spitzer (Germany) speak in the book “Wie Kinder denken lernen” (how children learn thinking) about a study that shows, the brain of a child starts learning grammar at the 7th month of life. In most countries this is long before they enter a school.  The brain starts to focus not on the content but rather on the structure of a sentence. They are able to detect structure changes in a three syllable sentence. This is an amazing finding. It shows that even learning grammar is not necessarily bound to being lectured. A huge focus should be pointed toward speaking and discovering. In the first step a language always is something natural. It is alive and it should not be put into a complicated learning structure. Children all over the world learn their mother tongue without getting any teachings or explanations on how to do it – and surprisingly they are able to learn it properly as long the person in communication with them speaks the language well. No mother sits down with a baby and tells them how to build a sentence or anything else, but the more they speak with their child, the faster and the better language skills are developed.As we start to understand more and more, how the brain develops and what steps it takes to discover, this knowledge can be used in learning a new language.  

Do I say, that it is wrong to study about a new or second language and learn proper grammar, wording, etc?    No!   What I say is, that in each language, first, we should focus on speaking and thereby naturally learning words, syllables and short sentences. In TLI Pedagogics we allow children having fun in speaking a language and communicating in a very new and different way. They should not be judged during the first two years of trial.

Marks do not make sense, when the brain tries to adjust to a new level. In TLI Pedagogics we focus on development-sensitive learning approaches.

As you know, some children are fast learners and some are slow learners. It does not make sense,that when a child learns something new and its brain absorbs information slow – to punish them with a bad mark and comparing them with brains who absorb information fast. It creates an imbalance and does not say anything about the child being able to use the language in the future. But, it creates a frustration about the language which keeps the child in the future from being able to learn this language easily and properly. More about the brains speed of learning I will tell you in our next blog.

Wish you a great day and joyful moments with your children
Yours sincerely
Marion Hopfgartner