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Encyclopedia > Foreign Language

A foreign language is a language not spoken by the indigenous people of a certain place: for example, English is a foreign language in Japan. It is also a language not spoken in the native country of the person referred to, i.e. an English speaker living in Japan can say that Japanese is a foreign language to him or her. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


Some children learn more than one language from birth or from a very young age: they are bilingual. These children can be said to have two mother tongues: neither language is foreign to that child, even if one language is a foreign language for the vast majority of people in the child's birth country. For example, a child learning English from her English mother in Japan can speak both English and Japanese, but neither is a foreign language to her. The term bilingualism (from bi meaning two and lingua meaning language) can refer to rather different phenomena. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location (dark green) within the United Kingdom (light green), with the Republic of Ireland (blue) to its west Languages English Capital London Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population –mid-2004...

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Foreign language education and ability

See main article: Language education

Most schools around the world teach at least one foreign language. By 1998 nearly all pupils in Europe studied at least one foreign language as part of their compulsory education, the only exception being Ireland, where primary and secondary schoolchildren learn both Irish and English, but neither is considered a foreign language. On average in Europe, at the start of foreign language teaching, learners have lessons for three to four hours a week. Compulsory lessons in a foreign language normally start at the end of primary school or the start of secondary school. In Luxembourg, Norway and Malta, however, the first foreign language is studied at age six, and in Belgium's Flemish Community at age 10. The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year of the Ocean. ... World map showing Europe Political map Europe is one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to various perspectives about Europes borders. ... Primary or elementary education is the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. ... Secondary school may refer to Secondary school in the United Kingdom, is the general term for the schools for children between the ages of eleven and eighteen in most areas (a few areas have schools for 13-18 year olds instead, and these are called upper schools). ...


In some countries, learners have lessons taken entirely in a foreign language: for example, more than half of European countries with a minority/regional language community use partial immersion to teach both the minority and the state language.


In 1995 the European Commission’s White Paper on Education and Training emphasized the importance of schoolchildren learning at least two foreign languages before upper secondary education. The Lisbon Summit of 2000 defined languages as one of the five key skills. 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive body of the European Union. ... This article is about the year 2000. ...


Despite the high rate of foreign language teaching in schools, the number of adults claiming to speak a foreign language is generally lower than might be expected. This is particularly true of native English speakers: in 2004 a British survey showed that only one in 10 UK workers could speak a foreign language. Less than 5% could count to 20 in a second language, for example. 80% said they could work abroad anyway, because "everyone speaks English". In 2001, a European Commission survey found that 65.9% of people in the UK spoke only their native tongue. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey. ...


Since the 1990s, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages has tried to standardize the learning of languages across Europe. Seinfeld was a pop cultural phenomenon during the 90s and became one of the most popular TV programs ever. ... The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, Assessment, or CEF, is a guideline used to describe achievements of learners of foreign languages across Europe. ...


Research into foreign language learning

In 2004 a report by the Michel Thomas Language Centre in Britain suggested that speaking a second language could increase an average worker's salary by £3,000 a year, or £145,000 in a lifetime. Further results showed that nine out of 10 British companies thought their businesses could benefit from better language skills. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Also in 2004, a study by University College London (UCL) examined the brains of 105 people who could speak more than one language. The study found that people who learned a second language when younger had denser grey matter than those who learned one later. Grey matter is the part of the brain where information is processed. 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... University College London, commonly known as UCL, is one of the colleges that make up the University of London. ... Grey matter is a major component of the central nervous system, consisting of nerve cell bodies and short nerve cell extensions/processes (axons and dendrites). ...


Other research has shown that early exposure to a second language increases divergent thinking strategies, helping not only in language-related tasks, but also in areas such as math. Children early on have different ways of expressing themselves, such that they better understand there is more than one way to look at a problem and that there is more than one solution.


See also

First language (native language, mother tongue, or vernacular) is the language a person learns first. ... A second language is any language other than the first, or native, language learned; it is typically used because of geographical or social reasons. ... The term bilingualism (from bi meaning two and lingua meaning language) can refer to rather different phenomena. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... A language school is where one can learn a foreign language. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... It has been suggested that Teaching English as a Second Language be merged into this article or section. ...

External links

  • Learning English as a foreign language
  • Basic Foreign Language Learning

 
 

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