>>I would like to see any statistics tending to prove that pupils learning
>>more languages have worse results in maths or science than the unilingual
>>ones (let's say a comparison between HK pupils and the US ones ;-)).
>There won't be. All evidence (and there's lots of it here in Ireland where
>we have English-medium and Irish-medium schools) shows that, in general,
>children who are bilingual do BETTER in school than monolingual children.
I grew up in Slovakia. By default every Slovak child grew up with two
languages: Slovak and Czech. In fact, so much so, we did not even think of
Czech as a foreign language.
Additionally, many children in my home city of Bratislava grew up learning
Hungarian and German as well. We had to study Russian starting in the third
grade. I studied German since the second grade (I did not study Hungarian,
though, as I said, many others did).
I did very well at school, as did many of my classmates. I was also an avid
reader as a child (still am, for that matter) and was able to learn many
things on my own. I really fail to see how learning more can make you a
It just comes with the territory, so to speak. And with the attitude: A
Slovak proverb says: "As many languages you know, that many times you are a
In my personal experience, learning languages from early childhood was an
advantage, not a disadvantage. At the age of 29, I left Slovakia, spent 6
months in Austria. In that time, I took two months of intensive Italian (a
language I did not study before), then moved to Rome, enrolled to Gregorian
University, and was ready to study with no difficulties.
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