小孩很自然學會說母語, 是因為他們自發展聽覺以來就聽到母親說的語言。有人說孩子在母體內已經可以聽 到外面世界的聲音並對母親熟悉的語調作出正面反應。
在家中, 孩子們會問, 當其他人不說英語, 為什麼他們會被要求說英語,
作者; Elaine Shannon
Ready to Learn 校長
此專欄代表Elaine Shannon 的個人意見
Article 1: Children need to Hear a Language in order to Speak it!
Children appear to speak their native language quite naturally, but this is only because they hear the words spoken by their mother from the first moment of awareness. We are told that babies in the womb can hear ‘outside’ noises and react positively to the voice of their mother becoming familiar with a particular kind of speech that subconsciously they must associate with.
Does this make learning a ‘native’ language a natural process? No one knows, but it may comfort a baby to identify familiar sounds when faced with the cacophony of noises that greet a baby at birth.
Unless a child has parents of mixed language backgrounds, he or she does not normally hear more than one language for the first few years of life. Does this mean that expecting a very young child to speak an ‘additional’ language is impossible?
No, of course not, but it does mean that parents have to introduce their children to new languages in the same way in which they were introduced to their first language; they heard their mother’s voice, over and over again!
When children don’t ever hear English at home, they don’t understand why they should be the only ones who have to speak it! Why me, they wonder when very often parents, grandparents, siblings, and even domestic helpers do not speak English to them.
Often children are asked to sit and watch English DVDs of cartoons or play with ‘talking books’ and computerised games that have robotic voices, but they do not communicate! No wonder the children prefer to talk in the language of their parents.
Babies and children want to emulate their parents, they copy everything they do; they want to be like them!