Here is my opinion and experience on the subject of children learning
another language. I believe that the younger a person is, the easier it is
to learn a new language. This is particularly true if the child is immersed
in the new language and culture. I learned English as a second language at
around 4 years of age and now it is my first and preferred language. This
is due to interacting with other children speaking the new language and the
effects of TV, etc. I picked-up the language quickly and easily (as far as
I recall) and now I am quite proficient in it.
I certainly see education in the second language becomes increasingly
necessary as one gets older, and learning the new language is more
difficult if not immersed in the language and culture. Yes, to know the
correct grammatical intricacies of the English language would require
education (but only as much as anyone else would require) depending on the
age of the learner.
Another example would be my parents, who did not take any specific English
language courses (to my knowledge) but speak, read and write as good or
better than many people who grew up with the language. The key is immersion
and using the language on a daily basis.
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