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No doubt it helps in learning a "second" language later in life as well.

Thanks to Swedish being an official second language here in Finland, school children learn it early on. Then, of course, comes English, as well as an opportunity to learn Russian or German. Consequently, everyone in the family (except Mom who is 80 and only speaks Finnish and Swedish) speaks at least three languages, regularly and fluently. A love of languages was built into these folks at any early age, and learning a new one doesn't seem to be a problem.

Unlike when I went to school and foreign languages were only offered as an elective course, these days I understand some schools in California are now doing things differently. Beginning in preschool/kindergarten these schools are instructing their young students in Chinese, Spanish and English concurrently. And, in situations where students have a Mom and Dad that speak different languages, suggesting further that one parent address the child in one language, and the other parent in another language. While this may seem like it would be confusing and overwhelming to a child, apparently it works out well as they pick up all the languages presented with equal ease. Simply amazing!

by sgr2 on Wed Apr 11th, 2012 at 10:48:16 AM EST
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