"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
To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.
This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.
Research on the question what is the best age for second language (L2) acquisition does not wholly support the belief the earlier, the better. Yet the link between an early start and a superior language learning outcome has frequently been used to justify implementing early L2 learning in primary education. The present longitudinal study has investigated the credibility of this claim by examining the effect of a CLIL approach on first and third graders attending seven Dutch primary schools. Children were taught art and crafts or physical education using English as the exclusive medium of instruction. In addition to analyzing children’s linguistic development and documenting their (first) foreign language experience, classroom interaction was studied. The inclusion of parents and teachers in the study also provides important data about their attitudes and opinions towards early L2 learning in primary education. Can the Dutch early bird catch the worm? The present study confirms this question. However, it also provides important evidence distinguishing the younger from the older child, leading to a new notion of the later, the better. This thesis will be of interest to researchers studying the unique, initial stages of L2 acquisition in classroom contexts. Its practical research design will be equally interesting to policy makers, practitioners and parents who wish to learn more about the outcomes of L2 learning in (Dutch) primary schools.