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Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Subject: linguistics in a multinational school
Question: I'm concerned with language acquisition for grades k-1. Is it better for the students to learn English in small groups or one on one. The research says either, but there are some who have no English and they speak their mother tongue at home. I guess I'm questioning the development phase - when CAN they learn to distinguish the words in contextual context? Please advise.

Reply: My children started their schooling in English, when English wasn’t one of their languages. This blog post of mine, ‘Making a home for new languages’, has some information on this process:


A more detailed report is in Part 3 ('Acquiring a Third Language') of my book _Three is a Crowd?_, parts of which are available online – scroll down to Book Preview and click on Contents, here:


Reply From: Madalena Cruz-Ferreira      click here to access email
Date: 10-Sep-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: linguistics in a multinational school    Elizabeth J Pyatt     (09-Sep-2013)
  2. Re: linguistics in a multinational school    Susan D Fischer     (09-Sep-2013)
  3. Re: linguistics in a multinational school    Anthea Fraser Gupta     (10-Sep-2013)

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