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Is it appropriate to start teaching Indian children English as early as 4 or 5 years even though the family members of such children do not know English?

asked 2015-07-11 01:24:14 -0500

Sudarsan gravatar image

updated 2015-07-15 02:47:33 -0500

In India it's often seen that parents are over-enthusiastic about seeing their children conversing in English in the first place and finding them in a secure white-collar job later. To satisfy this demand there are a large number of private schools that provide education with English as the main medium of teaching right from nursery through secondary level. There seem to be a lot of misconceptions on the issue.

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Thanks so much, JoostE! Your answere has just reaffirmed what I already heard.

Sudarsan gravatar imageSudarsan ( 2015-09-05 06:36:56 -0500 )edit

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answered 2015-08-09 02:46:40 -0500

JoostE gravatar image

I'm no expert, but research suggests that in a child's development, the success and proficiency in it's L1 is related to outcomes for further languages he or she learns. Someone has to have a high level of proficiency in the mother tongue, in order to achieve the same level in a foreign language. Learning the home language strongly benefits this process.

In the Nerherlands, we have seen something similar with North African and Turkish migrant children, who didn't progress in their mother tongues, as Dutch was considered more useful and/or important from a social perspective. This meant that their parents tried to learn Dutch at the same pace as their children, with limited success: both parents and children were not sufficiently aware of nuances and grammar in Dutch. They spoke a kind of faulty Dutch at home, that might end up causing career problems, rather than benefits.

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Asked: 2015-07-11 01:24:14 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 15 '15