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Old 01-14-2011, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
Most 11 yr old kids do not speak proper English, or spell it,yet we are teaching them another language? Yikes! Let's get one down at a time
Most people in other countries learn several languages and learn them very young. Children have the capacity to learn as many languages as they wish to learn and they are better able to learn without accents. People can learn at any age, though.

Speaking More Than One Language May Slow The Aging Process In The Mind

Quote:
ScienceDaily (May 8, 2008) — Children who speak a second or third language may have an unexpected advantage later in life, a new Tel Aviv University study has found. Knowing and speaking many languages may protect the brain against the effects of aging.
Quote:
A person who speaks more languages is likely to be more clear-minded at an older age, she says, in effect “exercising” his or her brain more than those who are monolingual. Languages may create new links in the brain, contributing to this strengthening effect.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post

And don't even get me started on spelling. I'm very frustrated kids aren't having spelling tests anymore and encouraged to use hit or miss spelling. After all, we won't have spell check available to us throughout life.
My 3rd grader has a spelling test every Friday. She had spelling tests in 2nd grade too.

Spell check, of course, can mess you up since it does not catch words that are spelled correctly, but don't mean what you intend.

Computer Humor - English Poem: The Spell Checker

Quote:
Spelling Poem

Eye halve a spelling chequer
It came with my pea sea
It plainly marques four my revue
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word
And weight four it two say
Weather eye am wrong oar write
It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid
It nose bee fore two long
And eye can put the error rite
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it
I am shore your pleased two no
Its letter perfect awl the weigh
My chequer tolled me sew.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:09 PM
 
15,290 posts, read 16,844,720 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bagu View Post
Chinese would be a challenge for me but do not have any exposure to any of them at this moment...oh well if I were younger might take a stab at learning. Knowledge is wonderfull.
7 Common Misconceptions About Language Learning | PickTheBrain | Motivation and Self Improvement

Quote:
Recent brain research has demonstrated that our brains remain plastic well into old age. Adults who lose their eyesight have to learn a new language, braille, for example. Adults have a wide vocabulary in their own language and are better language learners than children. I have learned 4 languages since the age of 55. Adults only need the child’s willingness to experiment and desire to communicate, without the fear of ridicule.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:17 PM
 
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I'd say that all depends on how well someone's memory is holding up. My short term memory was sort of destroyed due to neurological damage from my B12 deficiency. I have a large vocabulary, but I often can't remember words when I want to use them. I can't see how that will transfer well into learning a new language for me.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 5,922,673 times
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Cool! Maybe I'll start trying to learn Mandarin Chinese!

It's not Chinese, but the Spanish I learned as a young child and in high school helped tremendously with the Latin I later learned in my medical terminology courses. It's not just business students who benefit from learning a different language.
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Old 01-14-2011, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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nana---just love the spelling poem. I'll send it to my son who is months from PhD in physics but can't spell worth a hoot. It's really sad.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:29 PM
 
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I studied Chinese for a few years and miss it a lot.

I think it's a great language to learn. And many people are afraid of learning Chinese (I'm assuming we're talking about Mandarin here) because they see the characters and think they're hard. But if the writing system intimidates you, don't let the language itself intimidate you. Chinese grammar is actually MUCH easier than Spanish and French grammar, and you'll find yourself being able to string together sentences flawlessly much sooner! That's because you don't have to worry about conjugating words in Chinese. You can literally look up words from a dictionary and all you have to worry about is the order of the words, not the formation.

Chinese also encourages you to learn how to stretch words and come up with new combinations using the same four words to mean many different things instead of having to learn another word. In other words you can learn a handful of words and use them to convey a wide variety of concepts. It's a new way of thinking but there is a beauty to it that is just a very different flavor from English. Once you get the hang of it though, it's relatively easy.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:37 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,231,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOhioBound View Post
Most 11 yr old kids do not speak proper English, or spell it,yet we are teaching them another language? Yikes! Let's get one down at a time
Learning more than one language actually helps with spelling because learning languages aids in phonemic awareness, or in other words, helps people be aware of the bits and pieces that make up language. For example, my knowledge of four Romance languages helps me with a lot of my spelling in English because English historically borrowed a lot from Latin and French. Words such as "definitely" that have some ambiguous vowels (where it could be spelled "definately" or "defunitely" or any number of ways) are easier for me to remember because I can see the finit root inside definitely, which is related to the words finir and finire in French and Italian. And while the vowels are hard to hear in English, they are very clear in French and Italian so there is no ambiguity in spelling those words.

Learning other languages allows you to make those mental connections which helps both with memorization and comprehension. Research has been done in the field of linguistics showing that learning more than one language as a child doesn't hamper cognition--it actually improves it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: 60630
11,638 posts, read 17,050,201 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caroldixit View Post
My friend's daughter has started learning Chinese. Her father is a successful business professional & believes this will be a good skill for the future.

Do you think that our kids should learn to speak Chinese?

Carol

Why not??It's not our kid, it is her kid. You can teach your kid whatever you want.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:46 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,231,190 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Recent brain research has demonstrated that our brains remain plastic well into old age. Adults who lose their eyesight have to learn a new language, braille, for example. Adults have a wide vocabulary in their own language and are better language learners than children. I have learned 4 languages since the age of 55. Adults only need the child’s willingness to experiment and desire to communicate, without the fear of ridicule.
Braille is not a language. It's a system of encoding written languages. I use braille output to access my computer and yet I'm writing to you in the same language. The hardest part about learning braille isn't learning the code so much as learning to take in information through a new medium. It takes awhile for the brain to be able to switch from visual input to tactile input.

Since braille is not itself a language, but rather a tactile representation of the written word, it exists in many languages. There's American Braille, French Braille, Chinese Braille, Arabic Braille, etc., all used by the blind in those respective countries. There are even separate Braille codes for math and music.

I will say that knowing many writing systems does help with learning braille. Most people take a year or so to learn braille but it took me 3 months to learn it, and the bulk of that was learning to read by touch. But it only took me a week to learn the braille code because I'm already familiar with 5 writing systems, so for me, it was just another writing system. It took me about 7 months to get to a decent reading speed.

By the way I totally agree with you! I met a blind woman the other day who said blind services refused to teach her braille cause they said she was "too old to learn." That's baloney! I decided to teach her myself--if they don't, I will! You're never too old to learn a new language or code!

Last edited by nimchimpsky; 01-14-2011 at 10:07 PM..
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