Hi, my name is Alex. I have several years of English teaching experience and I always wondered. Why is it so hard for students to learn English as a second language, when the first one is already mastered well at the age of 5, with most grammar patterns and a broad vocabulary？Second language learners struggle with pronunciation, get frustrated, confused, lack motivation and will not even achieve fluency and accent-free speech in the nearest ten years. The first language was not nearly as difficult.
Soon I met a foreign girlfriend, things got serious to the point that we discussed having a baby. The first thing we needed to decide upon was the first language of the kid. I realized that it is possible to raise the kid bilingually, but did not know anything about it. So I started my research. I am very skeptical and prudent, I needed scientific proofs, not pop-science article with sensationalist and exaggerated headlines. And what I found really astonished me. Not only there are no side effects in raising a kid bilingually, but it’s also very beneficial to cognitive development and not very hard to do even if you are not a native speaker.
I spent three years to achieve my present level of Mandarin, but when I started I didn’t know a single word, while a lot of middle class Chinese adults in tier 1-2 cities already have the same level in English, lacking only in pronunciation fluency and self-confidence. I am certain that several months of accent polishing and English baby raising training will produce a parent competent to raise a bilingual kid. It is an easy task with modern abundance of digital tools. And by the age of five we will be able to make a vivid learner IN the target language, with a passion to read books, speak and watch videos at least in two languages.
And if you are reading this article, you will succeed if you just follow the instructions. It consists of three parts:
- Advantages of being bilingual and concerns of raising kids bilingually.
- The theory of brain development and language acquisition.
- Methods and techniques