cbintz

When did you start to learn a second language?

Recommended Posts

I went to public school in the Midwest and in 9th grade the offerings were Spanish, French and Latin.  I opted for Latin which helped in grad school but said then "When will I need Spanish?".  Moral of the story, ended up in law school in California and wished I had opted for Spanish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I learned my second language when I moved to Canada. I remember being so confused by the advanced English even though it was only grade 3. I came from Saudi Arabia so English in Canada was much more proper and advanced compared to what I knew. The second language was English and now I've forgotten my accent in my mother tongue language Arabic!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was about 7 when I started learning a second language, and I was just beginning school. But the actual learning happened later, and the accumulation of language skills and knowledge was significantly faster when I started reading books in that language. That's why I think that schools are almost useless in this respect. The only way to learn a language is to immerse yourself, and to start thinking in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started to learn new language when I was around 05 years old.......that is quiet an early age, but this was when I was taught the second language at school. I went to the English medium school and so my second language learning kicked in when I was in Higher class that is when I was 5 years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My school had compulsory Japanese classes in grade 5-7 and then we could choose Japanese or French in year 8 (13 years old). I continued Japanese in 8, 9 and went to Japan on a 3 month student exchange in year 10. Returning to my hometown, I took Japanese in year 11 and 12, moved to Japan the year after and went to a Japanese language school. After that I entered a Japanese university where I still am today!

My biggest fluency turning point was when I first went to Japan at 15 in year 10 where I got a lot of my basic Japanese into solid foundation.

Now I'm a few months into learning my third language, Italian!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't start learning a second language until I began taking Italian in high school, in eighth grade.  In my opinion, that is much to late and I honestly wish I had began taking Italian at a much younger age, preferably when I started school in kindergarten.  I remember reading a study that if a person tries to learn another language before age nine, they'll become fluent in it.  However, after the age of nine it's nearly impossible for this to happen.  Which was definitely the case with me-yes, I can read Italian, and understand quite a bit of it when it's spoken to me, but I'm far from fluent.  I still think in English, and need to translate my thoughts as I speak them.  Since graduating high school, almost six years ago, I find that I've almost completely lost the ability to speak Italian, and comprehending it is becoming more and more difficult.  That being said, I wish I had learned it at a younger age, so that I'd still be able to speak it and use the language today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest chives152

I started learning my second language in middle school. In Minnesota you have to take 2 years of a language before you graduate high school. I took Spanish through out high school. I knew a few words in Spanish before then, but I never knew any full sentences.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, my second language is English. And as soon as I got to watch television shows spoken in that language, I started learning it (Sesame Street is my first English teacher). But it’s only when I went to grade school that I fully learn how to converse with other people using English language. So my first encounter of English language is for me to understand it, the second is for me to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started to learn a second language when I began hanging around friends who spoke mostly Spanish in my high school. This was a good start for me, even though I ended up failing Spanish class.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in Southeastern Arizona so I had a lot of Hispanic friends.  Most residents of the area grew up knowing quite a bit of Spanish and I furthered that study by taking classes in high school and college.  Still have a long way to go, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started to learn my second language which is English at the age of 10 maybe, it wasn't on purpose, I just started watching so many movies and cartoons with arabic subtitles, my mind kept catching all the words until I built a whole vocabulary, then I started practicing it with myself in the mirror or while reading books out loud.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Music was the catalyst for learning new languages at the age of sixteen. Since my voice teacher felt it was necessary for me to understand and feel the emotion behind the words, I felt honored and privileged to be the sole recipient to learn a bit of the German, Italian, and French languages while attending a small country school. The beginnings of learning Spanish came a bit later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started at a young age of around five years old. My parents first spoke to me in English so it would be my native language. After I learned a substantial part of it, they started speaking to me in Tagalog. I eventually learned both and still remember to this day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in kindergarten we were introduced to Spanish. Everyday we would recite the days of the week, the months, colors, and the pledge of allegiance. This was so helpful even though it wasn't learning all the technicalities. When I went on to middle school I was able to remember all the little things I had learned in elementary school. Therefore learning Spanish came a lot easier to me because I had a basic knowledge of it so early on in school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IN Kenay we are taught the mother tongue as the first language. I started learning my seconda and third language co-curently in the school that i went to . Those languages are English and swahili. They are taught from kindergarten  to High shool. Therefore i have had lots of time to get used to the languages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In India, learning second language is a part of our curriculum. Whether we like it or not, we have to study a second language :P

The second language that we study is usually Hindi or our local regional language

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really wish I had learned as a young child...I think it would have been a big advantage. I didn't learn until starting in 7th grade, and didn't value you it as much as I should have. I'm trying to get back in the game now, though ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had most of my eduction in the Netherlands which is renowned for it's bilingual population. Learning English starts very early for most people there not only through education but also through watching television where foreign TV series are subtitled rather than dubbed over in Dutch.

Because of that is is hard to pinpoint a true age at which I started learning English but I suppose as far as real education goes I was about 10 years old when I first started being taught English at primary school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first time I started learning Spanish was in 8th grade. Truthfully though we weren't really learning to speak the language so much as we were learning colors, numbers, and phrases.

I can't say I truly started learning until I took my first Spanish class in college. That really opened up my world and I can comfortably say that I learned 10x as much in one class than I learned the previous 5 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started to learn a second language in China, which was English. But English from the United States was different from English from China. The speaking was way differed from each other. I didn't know why, but I would think the way the teachers taught. I started to learn a second language when I entered elementary school, which was too early for me to learn a second language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest akasha24

My second language was English. My first is Hungarian. I started learning English at elementary school when I was around 5-6 years old. After a year or two, I was fluent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started learning English when I started kindergarten in Sweden. We then moved to the states about a year later. My language skills here, obviously, increased dramatically and I can't recall any instance of feeling like I didn't understand (even though I'm told we didn't really speak at all).

Ironically now I can't speak Swedish very well anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up within a traditional Chinese family and was sent to a Chinese school so very early on I was learning pronunciations for both Mandarin and English simultaneously, that on top of my native language. It was so early that I don't even remember the first day I started learning, exactly, but if I had to guess, I started learning at around age 4. I'd say it's a good age to learn since I don't recall having much difficulty at all at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My small private school was a similar experience; option to start in junior high, but I wasn't required to (so I didn't!) until 9th grade. We only had Spanish as an offering, so I half-heartedly did my two years and moved on. It wasn't until I was 25 and moved to Belgium, and then France, that I felt the language passion for learning French.

Here in France, the students must choose their "first-second-language" at 8 years old! Then they add another one at 12 years, and finally have an optional fourth language around 15-16 years old. We Americans would be much more culturally sound if we respected other languages enough to embed them earlier in our education curriculum. I feel cheated that it wasn't just expected of us like it is of the students in Europe. Doing my best to make up for lost time now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My second language was English. My first is Hungarian. I started learning English at elementary school when I was around 5-6 years old. After a year or two, I was fluent.

I have noticed for those who have learned English when they were young and were fluent after two years or so. I learned English when I was in elementary school, which I was required although English wasn't my first language.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now