From Silence to Speech.....and Beyond
The educational systems of the UK and Germany differ in many ways, but one difference which remains of overwhelming interest to me is how the consolidation of a child's natural language is tackled, and how a second or even a third language is introduced to an enquiring, or sometimes not so enquiring, mind; successfully or unsuccessfully.
Are our brains really "wired for language" at birth, as the psycholinguist, Noam Chomsky, declared some years ago, and can that wiring be extended to facilitate the learning of a second language, perhaps with the aid of other evolutionary or environmental functions?
Does the concept of English as a "killer language" hinder the UK educational systems in their basic commitment to second language acquisition, as well as deepening the commitment of the German systems?
How do primary and secondary schools encourage language learning?
How do universities prepare students for life in Greater Europe?
This book explores all the above, but first takes a look at how that most clever of all creatures, the human baby, moves from silence to speech.