21 December 2012

自救吧,何必听人家的?


 
朋友说,一个人学习世界语很孤单。

我说,你们全家人学习,就不孤单了。
 


学了也没有用啊,出外,还是用英语和马来语。

我只能说,如果你爱你的孩子,就开始学习世界语 Esperanto,和你的孩子们用世界语在家沟通,除了母语之外,世界语要列为家里的二语。别理会别人怎么说,你的家庭你自己说了算,政府也不会理会你这么多。还是自救吧!

我什么都不想多说了,如果你还对这个研究报告有疑问,那么,就是在误孩子的前途和健康。我不会翻译成为汉语,因为,我想让你想想,你从幼儿园就开始学习英文,到你高中毕业,这样的一篇报告,看不懂,就知道那些学习英文的岁月是多么的浪费。如果,你用一年的时间来学习世界语,你可能就看懂很多的报告了!

我把这份报告抄写在这里:
 
“New research into the neurobiology of bilingualism has found that being fluent in two languages, particularly from early childhood, not only enhances a person’s ability to concentrate, but might also protect against the onset of dementia and other age-related cognitive decline.
Scientists have discovered that bilingual adults have denser gray matter (brain tissue packed with information-processing nerve cells and fibers), especially in the brain’s left hemisphere, where most language and communication skills are controlled. The effect is strongest in people who learned a second language before the age of five and in those who are most proficient at their second language. This finding suggests that being bilingual from an early age significantly alters the brain’s structure.” (
Society for Neuroscience, 2008)


That's a long quote but it does say quite compactly what other sources confirm - that learning another language, early and well, improves brain structure and function permanently, in a way that learning other things may not. Surely enhancing the ability to concentrate is something which will have benefits in every area of learning. Rather than being a distraction from "Key Competencies", "Basics" or "Core Subjects", early bilingualism can be seen as "sharpening the axe" before spending the day chopping down a really big tree!
 
Of course, it doesn't help to be vague about the practicalites of providing early bilingualism.
This chart shows what can be achieved in the first 100 hours of education, using different target languages.*
As you can see, the benefits of bilingualism - improved concentration and resistance to dementia in later life - are fully realized by schools offering 100 hours of Esperanto, but not by the other choices.
After the first hundred hours, the choice is wide open again - more so than it was, but that's tomorrow's post!

*The figures are derived from a number of sources including Alex McAndrew, former director of Sydney University's language learning unit, and the US department of defense. They are for otivated adults, and children take a little longer。



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