You ask, "Shouldn't he learn English first?"
Do you think that learning a little Spanish interferes with learning
I don't think so, but certainly don't see any reason why you shouldn't
look into it.
I am pretty sure that it has been well-established that the older a
person is when they begin to learn a second language the less
well they learn it. Functional MRIs show a neurological basis
Learning languages sequentially is a poor way to learn them.
I've been learnign English for half a century and am still learning
There is a learning disability that is associated with changing
one's primary language at a certain age. But that depends on
abandoning one and picking up another, not on being bilingual,
so that is not somethign to worry about here. My ex was
diagnosed with that when she switched back to English from
Vietnamese, but it didn't last.
I suspect he is learning English faster than he is Spanish. Does
he speak English as well as or better than other four year olds?
Heck, this is an opportunity for you to learn Spanish. I bet
he'd get a blast from teaching you. That's the way a lot of
immigrants learned English, they sent their kids to school
and had their kids teach them when they got home.
There are countries, like Switzerland, that have multiple official
languages. AFAIK, their people are not any less articulate than
What is really good here, is knowing that you care and are
involved in his education. Good for you/
That is why all of the court documents are written in Spanish as well as
the Bills that pass through Congress. All newspapers and magazines are
in Spanish as are all of the programs on evey single cable channel.
When one knows more than one language, it opens more doors than if you
only know english. If he does learn spanish fluently, then other
langages will be easier to learn as well.
NOW is the time to teach him a second or third language. It will never
be easier for him.
Would you object if he was learning Dutch, German, or Pidgin?
My wife taught my 3 yr old to speak flawless french all the while that
I and the rest of the tribe spoke english. At 4 yrs old she was my
'tutor' when I broke down and finally took french classes.
My 4 yr old grandson also watches 'Dora the Explora' and we do
spanish together and he corrects me.
Don't be afraid of a language taught to a preschooler. They can only
benefit from the exposure. I wish I knew that 45 yrs ago.
No, but it may be the language used at the grocery store. I know it is at mine.
I only wish I'd paid more attention to Spanish when I took it in school. No
motivation to learn it then... now I realize my mistake.
You need to chill. They're doing your child a service. And don't worry that he
can only absorb one language. Using that thinking,
you'd need to pull him out of mathematics later because it might interfere with
his learning to read. Your kid's brain is like a sponge.... pack as much stuff
in there as he can absorb.
And languages... they are easiest to learn at a very early age. Being bilingual
is a very good thing in today's world.
Outside the US, it's very common to see young kids switch back and forth
from language to language. My wife is a 2nd grade teacher, and she has
students who translate for Polish, Czech, Russian, Pakistani, Indian,
and Asian immigrant parents.
Only native Americans seem to have a problem with multiple languages.
That is because we have ZERO need to learn other languages. How about
all the immigrants from Europe -- they adapted. Our strength is our
And when you go almost anywhere outside the USA, what is the common
I'm off my soapbox -- gonna try to go find some newsgroup that
I agree. Leave the US, and you'll see why it's helpful to know more
than one language, and you'll also see how easy it is when you start young.
Try that away from tourist areas and air traffic control, and let me
know how it works out. I've found English to be very useful in some
multi-language areas, like Switzerland. However, in not-so-urban parts
of Italy, Spain, France, etc... You'll be better off with something
else. In some less-friendly areas, you'll get better service as an
American who speaks French or Spanish, than an American who speaks only
There is also the issue of understanding. Have you ever been in a crowd
where you have no idea what anyone is saying? Knowing and speaking a
second language creates a totally different feeling in those situations,
and removes a bunch of stress, even if it's not the language the others
are speaking. I know this from experience in both conditions.
My bottom line is that being bi or multi-lingual can NEVER be detrimental.
So why did you respond to a thread clearly marked off-topic?
Not quite... India used to be a British colony, remember? They still teach
English in the schools there. The two official languages of India are Hindi
and English. I've met a fair number of [Asian] Indians in the workplace and in
college; all of them speak excellent English, and all of them learned to speak
it in India -- in fact, it's the first language for some of them.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
So, you work with cab drivers and Indian restaurant prep cooks? One of
the guys stocks the coolers and shelves at his friend's large liquor
store. These folks are NOT IT people, call center managers, doctors,
etc... or for that matter, college educated.
My wife teaches in an inner city school. While English certainly _is_
the official second language in India, these folks aren't very good with
it. Therefore, the kids would translate my wife to Hindi, or whatever
language they speak at home.
Often, the largest concern these folks have is that their kids are
learning proper English.
But hey, if you haven't seen it yourself, it can't be true... <G>
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