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At what age did you start learning a foreign language?

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  • At what age did you start learning a foreign language?

    At what age did you start learning a foreign language?
    https://www.lingostan.com

  • #2
    At nine. It was my fourth year at school. These days children start learning foreign languages two years earlier than we did.

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    • #3
      Then I guess you could be considered native for that language, do you agree with the theory most people say that if you start before 12, you are going to be like a native, and after that age, instead, you are never going to get rid of your accent?
      https://www.lingostan.com

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      • #4
        Not the way they taught us. To learn like a native, a child has to be immersed in the language, and immersion is just what our teachers can't manage, and never could. Besides, the teachers had an accent of their own, the sort they all acquire in the classroom when they study phonetics - nothing to do with real English pronunciation, but they are proud of it. At least, I managed to get rid of that horror later.

        Not sure about the 12 years old thing and the accents. I have an accent, though it is very light, but my friend Nadezhda here has fooled a lot of Britons into thinking she is a native speaker - she just has a natural talent for accents. I think it depends on the person.

        Native? Hardly that. I was barely at A2 when I graduated from university, and the rest was achieved through my own work. I was an adult at that time. Who cares anyway?

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        • #5
          I started French at 12 and German at 13. We English are dreadfully late at starting languages, as I'm sure Zak will agree. Learnt a little Spanish at the age of about 30 and now - at 67, after a couple of false starts, starting to learn Italian. We don't have the equivalent of the grading system in the UK (Irina mentions A2 above and I know it goers up to C2) apafrt from grading in exams - but those exams include literature as well so the grades aren't so informative.

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          • #6
            CEFR scale (A1 to C2) is international, Laury, and relatively new. I didn't learn it at school. In fact, I only heard about it last year for the first time, and at first it seemed confusing, but then I got used to it. Whatever linguistic forum you visit, people always talk in terms of A1 to C2, though everyone seems to have different ideas on what each level means.

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            • #7
              Ah, thanks Irina, I didn't know that! I'll try it out on my new U3A friends!

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