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Do you think they need time to develop skills in their native language first or that they should start from babyhood?
Babyhood. A lot of linguistic research indicates that children are able to distinguish their languages fairly easily, without getting them mixed up. And, as a baby, an individual can hear all sorts of phonemes, but this ability goes away soon after.
I think this is a really great idea if you have a native speaker on hand to immerse them. I think kids are very good at associating language with a specific person - that's how they become bilingual. My problem is that I'm just a languages teacher...
immersion in his language learning. Lisa, I'd like to recommend a book called "The Language Instinct," by Steven Pinker, that has lots of research data on language acquisition.