Tim Rowe's Observatory: Why Learning A New Language May Make You Forget Your Old One    
 Why Learning A New Language May Make You Forget Your Old One2 comments
29 Jan 2007 @ 08:55, by Tim Rowe

In a study appearing in the January, 2007 issue of Psychological Science, Levy and his colleague Dr. Michael Anderson discovered that people do not forget their native language simply because of less use, but that such forgetfulness reflects active inhibition of native language words that distract us while we are speaking the new language. Therefore, this forgetfulness may actually be an adaptive strategy to better learn a second language.


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30 Jan 2007 @ 10:30 by ming : Learning new languages
I do recognize that phenomenon. It seems easiest to learn a new language if one temporarily forgets the old one, and one immerges oneself completely in the new, looking for what things are called there, grasping for the concepts in a new way.

But then later, one can go back and remember the old language, and be bilingual, without much cause for conflict.

I do notice how learning French has made me forget some of my English. Oh, it obviously still is there, but I've lost some of the certainty as to what is correct and what isn't. But now that I've almost arrived at a stage where I can express myself in French without much trouble, I might have to go back and study some English grammar. I never really studied any in the first place, but now I notice how a few rules might come in handy sometimes.  

1 Feb 2007 @ 04:33 by timrowe : Grammar
I don't know what it's like in other European countries, but when I was at school we weren't taught English Grammar at all! We only had to learn grammar when studying a foreign language (French was compulsory, and was the only foreign language taught at my secondary school.)

It was only when I took an 2 week intensive course to become a teacher of English as a foreign language that I realised, to my horror, how little grammar I knew!

I love languages in general - but it's more the *sound* of the words. (Maybe because I'm very musical.). As far as syntax etc. is concerned, well ......... that's why I could never be a good programmer :)  

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