A Capacity to Learn

2/26/2001

Hi Family...I was just thinking about something this morning and wanted to pass it on...

We can all see the proof of how the little children have such a CAPACITY for learning—especially languages. By the ripe ole age of TWO, many children have just about mastered the English language. Most children can speak in complete sentences, changing verbs and suffixes when appropriate, at a VERY young age. I read something once, that I believe has proven to be true...children seem to KNOW and USE the “rules” of the language long before they are ever old enough to be TAUGHT the rules.

I know we have all heard that the time to learn a foreign language is when you are young (the younger the better), and there is much evidence that this is true. We also know that of all the children we know on the planet, there is a good chance that some of OURS will end up moving to “the four corners of the earth.”

Sooooo, my question is...Can some of you who know other languages make an effort to pass this knowledge along to the little ones? I am not talking about organized, in-depth, language lessons. : ) I know there are many older children who are learning or have learned other languages. That is not really what I am referring to.

I am talking about just taking opportunities along the way (as you rise up, as you sit down, as you walk along the way) to speak the other language that you know, as you interact with the little ones. I am ESPECIALLY thinking of those in the 1 yr.—6 yr. range who seem to be SPONGES as it relates to learning things this way. You know, just natural, day-to-day dialogue IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE. : ) Obviously, there will be the need for some consistency to it, or it won’t benefit as much.

And for those who may not be as “fluent” as others...you could still add to the consistency of others’ work just by repeating every chance you get the ten phrases that you do know. : ) And maybe you can make sure that you have some little tools (books, tapes, CDs, or toys emphasizing another language) on hand as you are caring for little ones?

Whatcha think? Sound fun? It does to me. (But not only do I not know another language, but I’m reminded frequently that given my southern heritage I can barely speak English.) : ) : ) : ) Love, Rose

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