Experts warn of language impairment as children learn many languages at same time

  • by VNBUSINESS
  • October 31, 2018

 Believing that it would be better to let children learn foreign languages as soon as possible, many Vietnamese parents send their children to class at a very young age.

Thuy Hang, an office worker in Tay Ho district in Hanoi, began familiarizing her daughter with English when the girl was three years old.

At first, it went smoothly. The girl liked the lessons of English and she could learn words by heart very quickly. At the age of three, she knew most of the words about animals, colors and numbers.

However, no progress was made when she turned four years old. She could could only say short sentences with 2-3 words and could not say longer sentences. 

Her Vietnamese was also poor. The girl was hesitant to communicate with people, including parents and grandparents, in Vietnamese.

The situation got even worse when her teacher informed the parents that the girl did not want to play with anyone. 

Believing that it would be better to let children learn foreign languages as soon as possible, many Vietnamese parents send their children to class at a very young age.

Since she did not communicate with classmates, she did not have friends. 

In particular, the girl would just point with her fingers rather than speak out what she wanted, and would cry if the teacher could not understand her.

Hang was stunned when hearing from a physician that her girl suffered from a language disorder.

According to Cu Thi Ly from the Center for Research and Apply Psychology & Education Sciences, this is not rare in Vietnam.

Ly said her center receives 50 cases related to language disorders each month. Many children are brought in whey they are 4-5 years old.

There are two reasons behind language disorders. The first is physical and the second is psychological.

Regarding the second, Ly said in many families, children are overindulged and adults satisfy all children’s requirements even though the children do not speak about their wishes. Also, children may face restrictions in communication which affects their language acquisition ability.

In theory, at the age of four, children can speak long sentences and relate stories. If some children cannot do this and tend to stay alone, parents should think of a language disorder.

In the case of Hang’s daughter, at first, autism was considered. But, the problem was language acquisition.

Ly rang the alarm over the growing tendency among urban parents of letting children play with electronic devices.

As her parents were always busy, Bao Tram did not talk to her parents regularly, but only liked singing English songs and mimicking English words in cartoons. 

At the age of three, she preferred talking in English rather than Vietnamese and could only speak several words.

Source: Vietnamnet

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