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Nyororin 06-02-2009 12:42 AM

Whoa whoa - I hate to miss out on this one!!!!
Finally a time has come where I can actually flaunt the 3 year extensive study and all that time I spent studying Japanese - English acquisition in children!

Without some sort of box for the child to categorize a language into, they will be totally mixed. In general, this "box" comes from the language being used by different individuals. If those around the child are using both languages, then the child will parse the two languages as one. Much in the same way you can learn different words for the same object, and different ways of saying the same thing. The box may be there from day one or be acquired later.
But in most cases there is something for the child to base their distinction upon from the beginning. For example, one parent speaks one language to them while the other speaks another language. Or one language is spoken by family while another is spoken by non-family... Or one language is spoken inside the home with another spoken outside the home.
Even with a strongly set pattern, children will naturally pick up one of the languages more quickly than the other. It`s a matter of the level of exposure. In general, picking up the mother`s language first is the rule as the child usually spends the most time with the mother during the first few years.

There is nothing that presents an advantage to learning a second language after a certain age. It`s the set pattern that counts. Even if you wait until a child is 3 or 4 to begin the second language, if you cannot set and maintain a pattern for the exposure it will be no different than if you hadn`t set a pattern at birth. The only difference is that it will not be as visible, as the child will always have what they know in the first language to fall back upon.

As it is the pattern that counts, my son is monolingual Japanese. My husband does not speak English and we live in Japan, so all the tried and true patterns would not work for us - I am not going to lock my husband out of any communication so decided to ditch English. If we`d lived in the US the situation would be different as it would Japanese in the home, English outside.

The case of the child ending up monolingual Japanese is a very very easy one to explain - most time spent with Japanese speaking mother from birth. Limited exposure to English, with the more proficient language still being usable during the encounters with English. Language limited to Japanese outside the home... That puts maybe 5% of language exposure in English.
Not a whole lot to work with and not a whole lot of incentive to learn it.

ozkai 06-02-2009 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nyororin (Post 726986)
The case of the child ending up monolingual Japanese is a very very easy one to explain - most time spent with Japanese speaking mother from birth. Limited exposure to English, with the more proficient language still being usable during the encounters with English. Language limited to Japanese outside the home... That puts maybe 5% of language exposure in English.
Not a whole lot to work with and not a whole lot of incentive to learn it.

In my case, I would say my son has spent more time with me, and I am a thorough communicator and love to talk.

English definitely came first for our son, although possibly that also had something to do with being smothered by English communication, with very limited Japanese, except from his Mother during the earlier stages.

As far as percentage goes, or even thinking about it, we have not, and it certainly is working naturally, at least for our son.

Infact, his talking now is unstoppable and he is loving it.

Like I said, he is distinguishing between the two languages between his Mum and I, and doing a mighty fine job of it.

I also know plenty of mixed Japanese kids in my location, and outside is English, that is the majority of the time, and no doubt home with Mum is some Japanese, although English still comes into the communication.

I think where you live could have a bearing on what language is mainly used.

I think the best part our of all this, is having children that are able to speak two languages:)

Megabyte117 06-02-2009 04:23 AM

Eh, having grown up in a bilingual household, I can safely say that I was never negatively affected. Apparently I simply did not begin speaking until several months after the norm, but the advantage of being familiar with two languages certainly outweighs that.

ozkai 06-02-2009 04:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Megabyte117 (Post 727092)
Eh, having grown up in a bilingual household, I can safely say that I was never negatively affected. Apparently I simply did not begin speaking until several months after the norm, but the advantage of being familiar with two languages certainly outweighs that.

For sure..

I think it's great.. Imagine how many wish to learn Japanese or another language later on. The expense and difficulties.

Children's have minds like hard drives. The information just stays.

A child like yourself is definitely envied by me with dual knowledge of two languages.

Oh yes, and all children do different things at different times.

I used to worry that my son would never walk. The first day he stood up and took two steps qualified to my best days of my life list:)

MMM 06-02-2009 05:15 AM

I am thinking the "anxiety" experienced is more by the parents or more likely grandparents who see their child or grandchild as "slower than average" when they are simply processing (and cementing) a larger amount of information that in the "end" (say at kindergarten or 1st grade) establishes them a BETTER communicators than their peers because they can do it in two languages...

and beyond simply two languages, but two mind sets. One of the biggest hurdles of Japanese language study, for English speakers, is being able to erase what you know about how language communication works, so a certain degree, and allow your brain to accept systems that seem illogical. (i.e. present and future as same verb tense). If your mind is exposed to two (or more) communication tracks at youth, imagine how open your brain might be for other things in the future.

Nyororin 06-02-2009 06:56 AM

In tests of children acquiring both languages, they acquire both at about 70% the speed of a child acquiring a single language. So when it comes to speech and comprehension they do appear behind - but have actually acquired 40% more than the monolingual child. It`s just split between two different languages.

After around 75% of both languages is cemented, generally one of the languages takes the forefront and will remain the dominant and preferred language throughout the child`s life. There are very few truly 50/50 bilinguals out there - one language is almost always a bit better than the other.

For us, 30% more time to start talking for my son would have been unthinkable. It already took him 4 years to say his first word... *sigh*

Tenchu 06-02-2009 07:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MMM (Post 727111)
and allow your brain to accept systems that seem illogical.

LOL.

I went to Pizza Company for lunch today... I asked for "pork lasagne"... she replies "lasagne pork?"... I reply "pork lasagne"... confused, she asks back "lasagne pork?"... *My face drops to my hands*

5 minutes latter... I'm served "lasagne pork" with a desert spoon to eat with... right...

My wife is having trouble bearing a kid (miscarriages). It's a heartbreak. I'm going to adopt a Thai girl I think. I wont be teaching any Thai until after English is mastered. I don't want my own children ordering "lasagne pork" and eating main dishes with desert spoons.

Nyororin, does your child have any problems with speech? I mean, in Thailand, there are few people who can say a word like "ice", they cannot say the "s" sound when it is at the end of the word. So it sounds like they are saying "eye" instead. I am sure Japanese have similar hickups with English, does your son have any problems with speech that the Japanese also have, or is he learning both languages in correct pronunciation?

Nyororin 06-02-2009 07:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tenchu (Post 727179)
Nyororin, does your child have any problems with speech? I mean, in Thailand, there are few people who can say a word like "ice", they cannot say the "s" sound when it is at the end of the word. So it sounds like they are saying "eye" instead. I am sure Japanese have similar hickups with English, does your son have any problems with speech that the Japanese also have, or is he learning both languages in correct pronunciation?

He is monolingual. He is also missing around 35% of his brain.

I think that answers the question...

Tenchu 06-02-2009 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nyororin (Post 727183)
He is monolingual. He is also missing around 35% of his brain.

I think that answers the question...

He's had bad luck.

I'll sock God one for him when I see him.

Jok3r 06-04-2009 02:04 PM

do we have any mutts on this forum?


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