Linguistic diversity and language learning
By Hebe Adventures

Linguistic diversity and language learning

Languages are shaped and evolve through social interaction. We use language in education, science, culture, politics and religion, in communicating with co-workers and friends, and in meeting new people. We use language as a memory aid and to process information.

We use spoken, written and signed language to express thoughts and feelings, to influence the action of others, to build confidence and reassurance, to show solidarity and compassion, or to dissociate ourselves from something or someone. Thus, our language reflects our way of thinking, our relationship to others, our culture and our identity. At the same time, we can use language to change our social relationships, and our way of thinking. Learning a new language leads to this type of change.

Studies on linguistic tools related to language learning, especially first language learning, tend to focus on the cognitive and communicational prerequisites of learning. It may be equally important to study the cognitive and communicational consequences of this language learning. These consequences go well beyond facilitating professional mobility.

Below are some examples of language learning tools:

Firstly, in the field of neurosciences, there is a growing interest in the cognitive control of neuronal activity (Badre, Poldrack, Paré-Blagoev, Insler & Wagner, 2005; Miller, D'Esposito & Wills, 2005); however, the acquisition of a language implies the acquisition of a powerful linguistic tool for cognitive control and the regulation of cerebral activity.

Second, in the field of translation studies, Cassin (2004, personal communication) presents an analysis of the vocabulary of European philosophies accompanied by a dictionary of “untranslatable terms”. Cassin argues that the diversity of languages represents a plurality of viewpoints. Applied to terminologies from different traditions in academic disciplines, this plurality presents a translation problem, but also offers a source of multiple perspectives for the conceptualization of a problem or phenomenon.

Third, in the field of developmental psycholinguistics, Berman and Slobin (1994) argue that learning a particular language is learning a particular way of 'thinking to speak'.

Linguistic diversity in the world is commonly estimated at six thousand languages, perhaps more. By definition, this count excludes dialectal variants. From the point of view of linguistic tools relating to the learning of languages and identity, the dialectal variant is however an important factor. Similarly, variations between written and spoken language add to linguistic diversity in the broad sense. And when we consider written language, there is visual written language and tactile written language.

In the structuralist linguistic tradition, the abstract code supposed to be common to oral and written language is the legitimate object of scientific research. The sensory modality through which language manifests, however, has important implications for processing constraints. Anyone interested in learning language tools and its difficulties is well advised to take a closer look at the conditions of communication and the processing constraints associated with the use of a language in its various written and spoken forms. .

Do you want your child to learn to speak English easily with good language tools?

Giving the opportunity to learn English to your children is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. It is much easier to learn a language as a child than as an adult, and the rewards are all the greater: in general, English speakers earn a better living, can access the most prestigious universities and have more opportunity to travel.

It is important that in his learning process, the child is given confidence to feel good with the new words in front of which he is confronted by helping himself with good linguistic tools.

Learning English for children takes place in parallel with schooling, so any method used must be fun and interactive. The educational material mobilized will motivate the child much more, who will be more inclined to appropriate his first words, to immerse himself in the English language, if the learning is not academic.

Any non-native language being foreign to him, the child must get used to speaking a new linguistic code, like an experienced guitarist who feels like a beginner when faced with a new style of music.

Hence the importance of the playful dimension in the process: if learning English is restrictive for the child, he will have less willpower and his efforts will not be spontaneous.

To introduce the child to English, the educator or the parent can, for example, use the linguistic tools of singing, music and games, thanks to multimedia and digital technologies.

A true language immersion in Ireland thanks to HEBE Adventures

Most children on language exchange in Ireland do not speak the language of their exchange country at all. After the first week in the country, we ask at Hebe that all access to their own language be eliminated (books, digital applications, etc…). The children will experience real immersion by living with their exchange family in Ireland. They will be part of the family, like the other children in the family. They will have the same rights and the same duties. Thanks to this immersion in Ireland (family, country, language), the children are able to hold an everyday conversation after six months. Read more about it on our results page.

At Hebe, we have put in place rules that seem strict in order to allow children to live their adventure in immersion. Our families tell us how much these rules have enabled them to manage their language exchange and the children to be able to learn their new language.

Language exchange children in Ireland spend an entire year together! It actually creates lifelong bonds between children and families. The children will get into the habit of seeing each other again after the exchange, during the holidays. Families will also enjoy getting together, between “parents” of the same “children”.

In short, language trips to Ireland are the best linguistic tool for your child to discover the country's culture while speaking English on a daily basis. He will then be directly in contact with a way of life that he did not know or knew very little about before. Orally, significant progress can then be noted from the second week of the stay in general. A very enriching experience from all points of view that your child will remember forever!

So what are you waiting for to find the ideal language stay for your son or daughter? Join us now.

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