Shouldn't Learning a Second Language Easier Since You Have Already Learned the First One?
Experience: 0 years
I don’t subscribe to the thought that kids learn languages better. Better yet, I don't subscribe to people using it as an excuse for failure. Just how long does it take for a newborn be able to converse? It would probably be three to four years before he or she gets from the “da da”, “ma ma” to “but I don’t want to go to bed!” Even at that, it isn’t much of a conversation. The key that kids seem to learn quicker is that they are a) “taught”, and nurtured, by mommy every waking hour. b) They imitate. Adults would only go to classes x amount of hours a week, and are usually taught grammar. In fact, they are typically taught in reserve: writing (grammar), reading, speaking, listening. Yet, a child learns not from a textbook, about a year’s time is spent on just listening, and imitating, and FAILING before he or she could say things intelligibly. Usually, schools discourage failure and favours competition. By the way, don't get me started on learning languages from peers! If you are privileged to the same amount of hours of teaching and nurturing, you would be way more advanced than a three year old.
Why do adults who have already mastered one language; have a developed brain, and have experience of the world around, have so much trouble learning a new language. It is because usually schools teach in reverse, and stifle our innate abilities to learn languages. Seriously, if you have learned something for four years, and still are not proficient at it, maybe it is time to examine the method. Most classes (not just language classes) only teach you to pass a test. If you are to learn anything well, you must be taught how to use what is innate, and build upon it.