Cognitive Daily


  1. #1 Greg Laden
    January 22, 2007

    I am eagerly awaiting access to the original article on second languages. I’ve posted an admission of my bias that it can’t be right, or the effect can’t be strong, or at least, that we should ignore the study. My thinking on this is that one-language Americans going off as adults and learning a second language are not ideal subjects for study of language learning and acquisition. They are already broken.

  2. #2 Teresa Michelsen
    January 22, 2007

    I don’t have this exact problem with second languages, but I do have this same problem with second and third languages – in other words, if I try to learn a new language other than English, I first have to struggle not to automatically bring up words in the last non-English language I studied, and then as I get more proficient in the new language, I start to lose the previous non-English language. I’ve come to the conclusion I’m only really capable of holding one other language in my mind at a time, which is sort of sad. Maybe if I actively tried to read in the second language while learning the third I could eventually get all three of them to stay in there!!

  3. #3 Michele
    January 23, 2007

    I grew up with Japanese parents but we spoke only English at home. I was 13 when I learned Japanese. I studied it for 2 years and switched to speaking both Japanese & English at home. I then went on to learn Spanish in high school. I started getting confused with Japanese and Spanish words. After 5 years of Spanish, I gave up. I couldn’t retain what I was learning.

    I moved away from home and spoke less Japanese. Many years later I still sometimes think in Japanese but speak English all the time. It is quite strange to me that I would still think in Japanese without speaking it.

  4. #4 csrster
    January 23, 2007

    So far as I can tell, the language article is proposing an explanation for a well-established phenomenon, Greg’s prejudice notwithstanding.

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