Bilingualism is the ability to use two languages. Fluency in a second language requires skills in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing, although in practice some of those skills are often considerably less developed than others.
As for the German language, it should be added even before the native language is absolutely formed. The human brain is in ability to know more than one language. A good example here can be the children whose parents have different native languages. The best place for learning language is kindergarten.
In the age of two or three, children are cognitively developed to study. They are curious and inquisitive and they have no problems with motivation.
They should listen and associate what they have seen with corresponding actions. And not just simple mottos such as “Be attentive” or “Now shoes, please”. Children should listen to much more sentences to find out, for example, that a verb in a German subordinate clause is not placed in the main clause of the sentence.
We’ll give some examples about bilingualism from a German newspaper “Spiegel”.
The Finnish experience.
“There is no sense to cultivate the love of the English language in kindergarten, if this language is not a part of everyday life”, says Gans Rudolf Leu, who is from German institute of youth in Munich.
Undoubtedly, it’s still possible in bilingual family, in which both parents certainly communicate with their child. “My bilingualism is an invaluable treasure, by means of which a person creates his life. A person learns other languages more quickly”, thinks German-Finnish woman Laura Kristiina Diehl, “a person should be able to turn from one language to another”.
Children can even have 3 native languages, for instance, in Giessen family the Minovgidis: “My children speak Greek, German and Finnish languages as native ones. There is just one shag to it: it’s difficult to acquire this ability. From the very beginning we spoke our native language with both our children, later the boys crammed Greek and Finnish Grammar 1 day a week in the afternoon”, says Issidoros Minovgidis.
Bilingualism is very important. There is a shortage of qualified staff now. There are much more groups of children, who speak 2 languages in kindergarten. By the way, pediatricians and teachers advise to migrants’ parents to speak German with their children as if it is their native language.
Migrant children should really learn the German language. Their native language is a ballast in German schools. Finnish teachers and politicians in sphere of education on the contrary think that bilingualism is the greatest opportunity for education.
The festive mood in Hamburg harbor was conditioned by the arrival of President of Finnland Taria Halonen. The topic of her speech was bilingualism. About 90 children learn general Finnish language at schools, which are supported by the Government in Helsinki. “It’s wonderful to have your own native language, but having a lot of native languages you possess a special wealth. Two native languages are two motherlands”, thinks Halonen.
One can hardly doubt the value of bilingualism: it helps to broaden horizon and these children are also more intellectual than other children. They also reflect on linguistic meanings and cultural differences, they learn other languages much easier and have less problems with switching over one kind of activity to another.
Pedagogues and specialists in sphere of education are more and more concerned when it is better for a child to start learning English.
The majority of migrants in Germany are of Turkish origin.
Now let’s consider the opinion of President of Turkey. He said in the interview to a German newspaper “Die Zeit” and to a Turkish newspaper “Zaman”,“ every citizen of Germany of Turkish origin speaks the German language without any accent”. Also he said “when the Turkish in Germany don’t send their children to the kindergarten we must know why it is so”.
Ex-Prime Minister of Turkey Redgep Tayip Erdogan, in February this year in Dusseldorf, encouraged the children of Turkish migrants first of all to learn their native language and only then the German one and he also rejects all kinds of reorientation.