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teaching two languages at the same time 
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Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 2:28 am
Posts: 2
Post teaching two languages at the same time
Hi I'm new and lost here. Hope you can help me with this little problem I've got here.

I'm a Korean studying in Japan right now. I used to teach kids(youngest one was seven years old) back at home but,,,,now
I am going to be teaching a four year old Japanese boy, English & Korean.
The mother say he got interested in learning both of them while watching Toy Story2 in English and Korean.

I'm kind of lost at how I'm supposed to keep balance between these two languages. His mother wants me to focus on English and give him a little taste of Korean, but then, would it be worth trying to teach any Korean at all?

I am wondering if childrean have the capacity to learn two foreign languages at the same time,
and if they do, how I should try to develop the abilities? :roll:

Please help me a.s.a.p
I wish I had found this site earlier:)

Tue May 29, 2007 2:43 am

Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:16 am
Posts: 181
Location: Brazil
That's a common concern that parents of young children have about them learning a second language. They worry that the L2 will interfere with L1 development. You appear to have the same concern about L3 and L2. Children are great at segmenting. The younger the better actually. It should not be a problem for the child, but of course, your work might be difficult in planning the curriculum. You don't have to unite the two languages, but could just teach them as two separate courses. If you work with the child twice a week you could do 3 English lessons and 1 Korean lesson. Or better, English twice a week and Korean once, dividing the second class of the week between English and Korean.

Mister Young's English Class
Minas Gerais, Brasil

Wed May 30, 2007 1:23 am
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2007 12:58 am
Posts: 42
I'm from a part of a country where kids always learn 3 languages at a time.
We learn one at home (L1), another one from the rest of the people and from school since we start it (the later with 3 years old) [L2] and the last one, English, only at school (L3).
I can tell you that it is not a problem. The difference with you is that one person does not teach two foreign languages.
Everybody here becomes bilingual very fast and then we learn L3 at school. For me your problem is that you have to teach two languages at the same time.
As your students is 4 years old I think that the best could be that you speak always English with the kid, not really teaching it but speaking as if it is the normal language. Use images as much as possible and translate only when really needed.
For Korean, teach it as a foreing language, one or two hours a week, convining it with English. Let the children know that Korean is another language you teach him.
If the kid sees English as your normal language and hears it all the time, he/she will learn it easily and fast. Don't let the kid see English as a language to learn just like maths but a language you speak and that he needs to talk with you. Of course, to do this you need to stay with the kid as much time as possible.
I hope this helps you, as it is the way we do it. Once a kid starts talking a person talks to him/her in another language all the time and L3 is the only language seen as a foreign language.

Sun Jul 08, 2007 8:25 pm
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