Trilingual: German - English - French
Every child acquires its native language happily, easily and absolutely correctly (unless that child has a serious disability). A particular sensitivity to languages in early childhood and the tendency to imitate (which also takes care of the ability to acquire many other abilities) enables us to master this outstanding achievement without any particular strain.
For many of us, however, acquiring a foreign language often means difficulty, cost, frustration and few aspects that provide fun, at least during the relevant school lessons. Far too many people gave up too soon in disappointment and think that they have no talent for foreign languages. Visits abroad subsequently often save what can be saved, by completely immersing us in an environment where the language to be learned is omnipresent, lived authentically and invites us to speak by imitation. The language initially has to be used without paying any attention to orthography and grammar, to just get by.
The successful experience of understanding the foreign language after a little time – to be able to express yourself in it and even to be understood in return – develops self-confidence and reduces the fear of contact. The path has been smoothed towards dealing voluntarily with the orthographic and grammatical quirks of this language. Unfortunately, the extensive knowledge now available in this area bypasses many classrooms, where students continue to study, lesson after lesson. All too often, any enjoyment in the language is completely left behind.
The immersion process offers the same promising conditions for acquiring a second language as the one that ensured the successful acquisition of our mother tongue.
One teacher in each class speaking only their native language of English or German
ensures that both languages are used in parallel and given the same value in lessons, songs, play activities and conversations.
The same principle is used for the language material available to the children. Our success proves us right!