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checkraiser
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At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:01 am

As Spanish gains more and more of a foothold over here I'm starting to think that schools should start compulsory Spanish programs at a relatively young age.

So the question is simple, when do schools start teaching English? Also, how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films? Is the abundance of American media a big help or not so much?

This is not intended to be a debate about official language, English only, etc... in the USA. Like it or not, it's here to stay

Edited for poor grammar in topic. Go figure.

[Edited 2007-03-18 20:04:04]
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aloges
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:21 am

I believe they start teaching it in 3rd grade these days, so the children are about 8 to 9. It probably varies from state to state since education is strictly a state-level matter here, which has led to much confusion.
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Rara
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 3:58 am

I started English in 7th grade, when I was about 13.
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JAL777
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:11 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
I'm starting to think that schools should start compulsory Spanish programs at a relatively young age.

How about we teach our kids to speak proper English first?
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:16 am

Quoting Rara (Reply 2):
I started English in 7th grade, when I was about 13.

That is pretty late. I started in 5th grade when I was 10, still too late IMO, they should start to teach English in 1st grade.

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checkraiser
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:20 am

Quoting JAL777 (Reply 3):
How about we teach our kids to speak proper English first?

If you're serious, I agree, that also needs to be done.

If you're pointing out a problem with that sentence I fail to see where it is.
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SkyGourmet
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:37 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films?

Absolutely nothing! All American films and series are dubbed. Half the contents get lost in translation, and lots of jokes don't make any sense at all in German. I think all films should be shown in the original language with subtitles, as in Denmark or other small countries. That way the kids learn reading, too.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:42 am

Here in Switzerland it depends on the Cantons (states). Here in Zurich (most populated Canton) we begin with English in the second grade and with French in fifth.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:51 am

Quoting SkyGourmet (Reply 6):
Absolutely nothing! All American films and series are dubbed. Half the contents get lost in translation, and lots of jokes don't make any sense at all in German. I think all films should be shown in the original language with subtitles, as in Denmark or other small countries. That way the kids learn reading, too.

 checkmark  It's a shame how bad English TV sounds in German. I think I've never made it through a Monty Python movie in German, but the English versions crack me up every single time.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:12 am

Quoting SkyGourmet (Reply 6):
Absolutely nothing! All American films and series are dubbed.

Unfortunatly

Quoting SkyGourmet (Reply 6):
Half the contents get lost in translation, and lots of jokes don't make any sense at all in German

Very true, probably one of the reasons why some movies are hit's in Germany and not in the US and the other way around.

Quoting SkyGourmet (Reply 6):
I think all films should be shown in the original language with subtitles

Agreed.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
I think I've never made it through a Monty Python movie in German,

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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:18 pm

Quoting SkyGourmet (Reply 6):

Absolutely nothing! All American films and series are dubbed. Half the contents get lost in translation, and lots of jokes don't make any sense at all in German. I think all films should be shown in the original language with subtitles, as in Denmark or other small countries. That way the kids learn reading, too.

Kids movies are dubbed no matter what the country. Disney dubs children's films in over 40 languages, including two dialects of Spanish and Zulu. It has nothing to do with reading skills. You can't actually expect a 7 year old to pay attention to a film and read subtitles at the same time. They don't have the attention span.

One thing I think is really funny is that the British kids show "Bob the Builder", which is very popular in the US, is dubbed in the US! From British English to American English.

I'm going off topic now, though.

In Sweden, while it does vary based on the area, English class is usually mandatory between first and ninth grade, which explains why just about everyone in Sweden can speak flawless English.

I strongly feel that all countries should have mandatory bilingual education starting in the first grade. It does not necessarily have to be English, even though that would arguably be the most helpful, but there should be a second one taught. Regardless of what it is, once you know a second language, a third can come to you in half the time, and so on and so on.

[Edited 2007-03-19 09:18:51]
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 4:31 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
As Spanish gains more and more of a foothold over here I'm starting to think that schools should start compulsory Spanish programs at a relatively young age.

 redflag 

This is the United States. I should NOT have to press 1 for English and I damn sure should NOT have to force my child to take a foreign language class.

Now, if my daughter wants to learn another language - fine. She's currently studying German. And has an interest in Japanese.

As far as Spanish . . . well, we know WHY there's so much Spanish in this country - because our Southern Border is a seive . . . .
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:32 pm

Quoting ZRH (Reply 7):
in Zurich (most populated Canton) we begin with English in the second grade and with French in fifth.

While it in the 60ies was French from the 7th and English from the 9th grade --- quite some progress !
-

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 11):
we know WHY there's so much Spanish in this country

it does not matter WHY, what matters is that you start early enough to learn it  Wink
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 5:42 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
As Spanish gains more and more of a foothold over here I'm starting to think that schools should start compulsory Spanish programs at a relatively young age.

Schools should not be teaching Spanish. We have enough trouble with kids speaking Ebonics in this country. America was founded, conquered, and ruled by those who speak English. Learn the language or get the hell out.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 11):
This is the United States. I should NOT have to press 1 for English and I damn sure should NOT have to force my child to take a foreign language class.

Now, if my daughter wants to learn another language - fine. She's currently studying German. And has an interest in Japanese.

As far as Spanish . . . well, we know WHY there's so much Spanish in this country - because our Southern Border is a seive . . . .

Amen to that.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:09 pm

Quoting ZRH (Reply 7):
Here in Switzerland it depends on the Cantons (states).

In Ticino, the Italian-speaking Canton, kids are taught French from the 3rd grade, German from the 7th grade and English from the 8th grade. Which is unacceptable IMHO. The result is that hardly anyone speaks fluent English in this region, besides those who need it for a living or learned it somewhere else.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:13 pm

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 13):
America was founded, conquered, and ruled by those who speak English. Learn the language or get the hell out.

> founded/conquered/ruled -- all three verbs in the PAST tense. Everything can be changed and improved. That the national minorities learn the majority language should be normal and is to be demanded of course. And each side ought to accept language borders accordingly.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:18 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 11):
This is the United States. I should NOT have to press 1 for English and I damn sure should NOT have to force my child to take a foreign language class.

Heh - it reminds me of a phone card I bought in Washington DC that asked me to press "2" for English for customer service. No prizes for guessing which language pressing "1" would have gotten me.

"2" for English. Amazing.

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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:20 pm

Personally I've learned English since day one through my parents. But in school I believe we started learning English around the age of 8-9.

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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 6:43 pm

In Finland, it usually it starts in 3rd grade (at the age of 9), but it's also possible to start it already in 1st grade (at the age of 7). However, in principle it is possible not to learn English at all. For example, if you take German as the first language, then you have to take Swedish as the second language and that's it. But in practice, almost everybody learns English.

Thank God, we have only kid's films dubbed. All the other movies are shown in the original language with subtitles.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:51 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):

So the question is simple, when do schools start teaching English? Also, how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films? Is the abundance of American media a big help or not so much?

Around third grade. But I think many of us learn most of it from films and stuff on tv. Subtitles is a really effective way of learning a language.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:31 pm

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 13):
We have enough trouble with kids speaking Ebonics in this country.

A good start would be making serious efforts to ensure that everyone is receiving the same standard of education and to stop pandering to do-nothing lardass parents.

Here in Japan, mandatory English education usually begins around 5th grade. If you can call it "education". It's really more along the lines of rote vocabulary and grammar drilling. Part of the reason Japanese people typically have strong passive knowledge but little speaking ability after graduating high school. The government has programmed these little failings into the program to discourage English from becoming more widespread and they've succeeded.
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Scorpio
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:14 pm

Over here, kids start having English at the age of 12 - 13.

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
Also, how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films? Is the abundance of American media a big help or not so much?

A lot. At least 50% of what they know, they know from TV or music. It's sometimes amazing to see how much English kids already know by the time they have their first English class. Most can already introduce themselves and make simple sentences, while they tend to have a pretty impressive vocabulary (not always the words we want them to know, but still  Wink). Luckily, we don't have the habit of dubbing English movies or TV-shows, we use subtitles.

I think the influence of TV and music can not be underestimated. In my experience, children from countries that use subtitles on average speak English much better than those in countries that use dubbing. Even within my own country, I can see big differences: In Flanders, everything is subtitled, and kids' English is good, in Wallonia, everything is dubbed, and their English is, on average, a lot poorer.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:56 pm

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
It's a shame how bad English TV sounds in German

Yes, I remember seeing Sister Act in German on TV in Vienna. I was shocked at how bad it sounded. For that particular film, the American accent is crucial to its enjoyment, If you can understand that. Sister Mary Clarence just didn't sound the same in German!
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 13):
America was founded, conquered, and ruled by those who speak English. Learn the language or get the hell out.

Kinda like the way the founders/conquerors/rulers learned the languages of the people whose land they invaded?
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:53 pm

Over here, I'm not sure how the public system is working right now; I guess it's around 5th-7th grade. On private schools, depends on the particular school. Fully bilingual schools (such as where I studied) start English classes in preschool. It's quite funny to hear my 5-year-old sister saying her first English words Big grin ... and quite impressive to see the retentive they have at that age.

The education system is making proposals to move to a trilingual education program in the long-term, which would be Spanish or the predominant Mayan language (depending on the region) as first language, the other language (Spanish if the first language is Mayan, a Mayan language if the first is Spanish) as the second, and English as the third.

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 23):

Kinda like the way the founders/conquerors/rulers learned the languages of the people whose land they invaded?

Priceless!  thumbsup 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:05 am

From my experience, in Namibia, most people learn Afrikaans and/or Ovambo at home, and then German and English in school. Usually German is the first, around maybe 2nd grade, and then English around 6th...I'm kind of thrown off because I learned English at home since my parents are Americans, so I learned German first and then Ovambo when others were learning English.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:01 am

Here, they teach English Lit, not Grammar (well, in my high school anyway). But, in primary school they teach grammar until age 8 or 9, then change to literature. All the older people complain, because of the grammar standard (Like i say i would've, but I say it as "would of", not "have") is poor. Learning a second language here is a joke, we have 3 years of compulsary French/German (more often than not it's French, though) Then you just completely drop it. For those 3 years, all people do is do nothing anyway, and don't learn that much. Atleast where i go to school, French is compulsary for 3 years, and German is for 2 years but only if you're in a high English set/class. I hated French....waaaay to feminine (Sorry to the French  Wink) And I love German, much more masculine. And easier Big grin I'm doing German to GCSE level, I wouldn't dream of doing French to GCSE though Big grin
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:24 am

Quoting ZRH (Reply 7):
Here in Zurich (most populated Canton) we begin with English in the second grade and with French in fifth.

That makes absolutely no sense given the make up of the country.

Quoting Aloges (Reply 8):
It's a shame how bad English TV sounds in German

Actually, a lot of American linguists are big fans of how well US TV is dubbed into German.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 11):
This is the United States. I should NOT have to press 1 for English

Hey, that is free market capitalism, not anything else. Companies know they will make more money by having a Spanish option, so they do and no one is forcing them.

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 13):
We have enough trouble with kids speaking Ebonics in this country.

Oh get over yourself. The only reason we end up with children speaking crappy English in this country is because their parents speak crappy English.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:33 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
Here in Zurich (most populated Canton) we begin with English in the second grade and with French in fifth.
--
That makes absolutely no sense given the make up of the country.

-
It makes LOTS of sense if you look at the economy. > What language do most incoming tourists speak ? > What language is needed for contacts in industry and transport and banking ? Most German speaking Cantons, except Berne which has a French minority area, opted to give emphasis to English. In the Grisons where the official languages are German, Romansh and Italian, the situation is different as priority is on Italian, with English second.
-
 
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ManuCH
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
Quoting ZRH (Reply 7):
Here in Zurich (most populated Canton) we begin with English in the second grade and with French in fifth.

That makes absolutely no sense given the make up of the country.

What?? I wish it was like that in Ticino as well ... people would start speaking English and tourists wouldn't be confronted with baffled waiters at the restaurants when they visit this place. Just to make an example.

Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 26):
Here, they teach English Lit, not Grammar (well, in my high school anyway).

That's also a problem over here. After the 10th grade they teach literature ... to people who barely know grammar basics! Go figure...
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N1120A
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 29):
people would start speaking English and tourists wouldn't be confronted with baffled waiters at the restaurants when they visit this place.

Perhaps they should have told this to the waiter at ZRH I had before I could speak German. The guy couldn't speak English or French.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 28):
It makes LOTS of sense if you look at the economy.

As much as I am into economics, nationalism makes sense too
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 2:56 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 29):
What?? I wish it was like that in Ticino as well ... people would start speaking English and tourists wouldn't be confronted with baffled waiters at the restaurants when they visit this place. Just to make an example.

As far as I can see it, the Ticinesi for practical purposes try to learn German, as German speakers dominate the Ticinese economy -- correct ? And then, quite many Ticinesi have a cultural love for French, and learn French which is rather useless in their Canton, and only few learn English, which is bad for the tourism industry !
 
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ManuCH
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:15 am

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 31):
As far as I can see it, the Ticinesi for practical purposes try to learn German, as German speakers dominate the Ticinese economy -- correct ?

I wish it was like that ... German starts only in the 7th grade, and you get 3 years of it (in mandatory school). But for Italian speaking people, German is a very difficult language, and the results are very limited, to say the least.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 31):
And then, quite many Ticinesi have a cultural love for French, and learn French which is rather useless in their Canton, and only few learn English, which is bad for the tourism industry !

Correct. Everyone speaks French, which is very easy to learn for the Ticinesi (from a language structure point of view, and also culturally), a very small percentage of the population speaks German, and an even smaller percentage tries to speak some English. And you guessed it, it's bad for the tourism industry. I don't think we'll be able to change that in the short term.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
Perhaps they should have told this to the waiter at ZRH I had before I could speak German. The guy couldn't speak English or French.

There are of course exceptions. Maybe the guy didn't attend his school in ZRH. Maybe the school system changed in the meantime. I do speak German (it's my second language), but I personally don't know anyone from ZRH who doesn't speak English.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
As much as I am into economics, nationalism makes sense too

Nationalism makes sense as in "be proud of your country", not as in "ignore the de-facto western global language". Being patriotic/nationalistic won't help when you apply for a job. Speaking English does.
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N1120A
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:21 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 32):
But for Italian speaking people, German is a very difficult language, and the results are very limited, to say the least.

Not for people from Trento and Bolzano
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:31 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 33):
Not for people from Trento and Bolzano

OK, let me rephrase it: "for Italian speaking people living and growing up in Ticino which have no German-speaking relatives and didn't live in Trento or Bolzano"  boggled 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting AirTran737 (Reply 13):
We have enough trouble with kids speaking Ebonics in this country

Hardly. Intersting you bring that up, though. Ebonics isn't a big problem. The problem lies in those who don't use the language properly, not just a group (Ebonic speakers).

A second language here shouldn't be mandatory, but the access to learning one should.

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
As Spanish gains more and more of a foothold over here I'm starting to think that schools should start compulsory Spanish programs at a relatively young age.

What of areas that don't have that "foothold". Like areas bordering Quebec?
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TR763
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:55 am

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
So the question is simple, when do schools start teaching English? Also, how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films? Is the abundance of American media a big help or not so much?

Here in Brazil, or at least in most of the particular schools, English starts at the 5th. grade, when the children are usually 11. In public schools I'm sure it's different. But I really don't know how it is.

The access to foreign channels in the Brazilian TV is not available to all population, but all the films or programs have subtitles, making children lazy enough to pay attention to how the language is spoken, just reading the subtitles.
Still, I believe that the movies and other programs unconsciously help... it helped me a lot!
But I did English classes outside of the school, as most of the people with a medium to high income do. I started when I was 8 years old.
Computers and specially music help a lot to have an English language knowledge - better than movies or TV programs if you ask me.

It's important to say that Spanish is being taught too, but starts later than English, mostly in the 7th. grade, when people are around 13.

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checkraiser
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:07 am

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 35):
What of areas that don't have that "foothold". Like areas bordering Quebec?

Excellent question, I live in such an area. My answer is, it's coming (unless serious immigration reform happens; I'm not holding my breath). By the time today's 5 year olds are 25 there may be a need for it, especially should that person decide that Vermont isn't for them and decide to set up shop in Texas.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 35):
A second language here shouldn't be mandatory, but the access to learning one should.

Maybe something in the middle is more appropriate. Say we decide that Spanish instruction should begin in 5th grade. If a student is already struggling with English he would instead spend time in a remedial English class while those doing well are starting Spanish.
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LTU932
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:11 am

I started with English class when I was 10 and started 5th grade, and I've been speaking English ever since. I had more problems with French (which I chose over Latin), as it started in 7th grade (when I was 12) and somehow it was just too late for me, and with moving into another country, I lost my basic French conversational skill, even though I still understand and speak a bit of it. Here in Costa Rica, French and English class in public schools start with 7th grade, when students start going to high school.

IMO, English should be should be tought starting in 1st grade. It's just too important a language nowadays, and the fact that English is very easy should help considerably when learning the language, especially when you're very young.
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tz757300
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:18 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 27):
Oh get over yourself. The only reason we end up with children speaking crappy English in this country is because their parents speak crappy English.

From a students point of view, it is usually NOT the parents problem. I have many friends that speak mainly Ebonics, and usually the parents speak very good English. Personally, I speak pretty good English compared to my mother, but I choose it for my personal benefit. Ebonics is actually a minor problem in schools since, where do you think access to other people speaking it come from....the school. English is taught, but I'm sure you cant enforce it on students that speak something completely different everyday out of the English classroom.

So please, get over yourself.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:22 am

Well, obviously i get tought it from a very very young age, being the national language. However they begin to teach us French at the age of 9/10. I do however, think that we should be taught Gaelic as it is a lot more common here than French.

Tom
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:27 am

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 35):
Intersting you bring that up, though. Ebonics isn't a big problem

Yes. I always wonder whether those so hostile to Ebonics are equally against something like Gullah.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:47 am

Is French mandatory in the UK?
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:12 am

I can't remember now, but I think I started learning English when I was in 2nd grade, at age 7. I believe they start teaching it in 1st grade now. Also, in middle school, it is now compulsory to teach English as well as another language (French, German or Spanish).

All movies and foreign TV series are dubbed over here, and they do it pretty well, but I still wish that at least some were aired in the original language with Italian subtitles, so people could get used to it. Personally, I hardly ever watch dubbed movies anymore, it's just not the same.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:15 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Thread starter):
when do schools start teaching English? Also, how much English do you think is learned from American TV and films? Is the abundance of American media a big help or not so much

From KinderGarden.
No there are Indian Educational programmes that teach proper English.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:53 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
Perhaps they should have told this to the waiter at ZRH I had before I could speak German. The guy couldn't speak English or French.

but possibly fluently Albanian, Croatian and Italian  rotfl  but equally likely only some 14 words in German . You see that is reality !
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Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
nationalism makes sense too

A) nationalism does NOT make money, does NOT make profit, does NOT add to the economic performance
B) nationalism here would mean only to have the majority language, German -- in the 50ies and 60ies, French lessons started at grade 7 and English or Italian at grade 9 -- THOSE were the nationalist days
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Quoting ManuCH (Reply 32):
I personally don't know anyone from ZRH who doesn't speak English.

you don't know sufficient people from "the Balkans" ! Only a handful of them speak either French or English and they dominate the "service" in the restaurants . Enjoy ! And the top of their German is to say at the end "und noch enn schoener noch ! "  rotfl 
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Quoting N1120A (Reply 33):
Bolzano

Bolzano is in the Sued-Tirol which is a German language area, whenever being in Italy. The Ticino is an Italian speaking area, which originally was conquered by some Swiss Cantons, and finally got "independence" in the form of a Canton.
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:52 pm

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 42):
Is French mandatory in the UK?

It was when I was at school 10 years ago, but I think it's a choice now between French, Spanish and German. Personally I would say French and Spanish are the most useful two, as German is only really commonplace in Germany, Austria and parts of Switzerland. Spanish is in use in many places, as is French.

I would like to learn Japanese or Cantonese/Mandarin, purely because they aren't too commonplace over here and it's got to be another string to your bow.

Cheers
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:42 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 33):
Not for people from Trento and Bolzano



Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 45):
Bolzano is in the Sued-Tirol which is a German language area

You rather mean Bozen and not Bolzano. The people there don't like the Italian name for their city.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:32 am

Public schools in Chile begin with english at fifth grade (when kids are around 9-10 years old). I believe french was mandatory at a higher grade but it has been withdrawed.

I studied in a private "british" school so I began with english in "pre-kinder", at age 4, and french at 7th grade (12 years old). Some "colony schools" like the Alliance Française, Scuola Italiana, Deutsche Schule among others emphasise the learning of french, italian or german when kids are small, having english as a third language at a later stage.
 
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RE: At What Age Does Your Country Teach English?

Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:46 am

I kinda wish the US could be more pro-active in giving children the opportunity to become bi-lingual at an early age. I may be good at picking up languages and may have had German spoken to me at an early age, but everyday it's sad to go into my Spanish class and notice 2/3 of the class not knowing exactly what a verb is. The average for our last test was a 71 and I got the highest score 88.

Though nothing beats learning the language than being in the country that speaks it. You pick it up much faster that way and you're required to use it constantly, not just in a classroom. If the US were anything like that, road signs would be in Spanish by now.
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