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ERIC Number: ED461991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Dec-3
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
What Language Should a Lebanese Child Learn First?
Bahous, Jocelyne
Bilingualism is common in Lebanon's educational system. The national curriculum requires students to learn a second language beginning in kindergarten and to study science and mathematics in that second language in later years. The national curriculum requires that another foreign language be taught by seventh grade. Although Arabic is the national language, all Lebanese children are required to achieve mastery in at least one foreign language. Many Lebanese parents use a foreign language at home in order to facilitate their children's school learning. At age 3, children attend nursery school, with admissions tests given in their dominant language. By the end of nursery school, children can speak one or two languages fluently. The critical point for second language acquisition without an accent is near puberty. Factors affecting language acquisition between ages 6 and 10 years include: brain development and maturation, psychomotor coordination of the speech muscles, intellectual development, and the affective domain (self-consciousness and attitudes). Children learning two languages simultaneously acquire them using similar strategies. The errors they make are developmental and not subject to first-language interference. Children who do not continue their foreign language use after their early education find that their language skills deteriorate. (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Lebanon