Several tongues

In retrospect, it seems so simple:

My wife is a teacher of English as a New Language (ENL). It has also been called English as a Second Language (ESL), but the NEW designation is more accurate because, for some of these students, English is their third or fourth language.

Of course.

And now I look at my less-than-polyglot self and curse, quietly; I took three different “foreign” languages in secondary school, and my fluency in any of them is arguable at best. Admittedly, this was nearly half a century ago, but I suspect I should have retained more than I actually have. Middle-school kid learning English as your third language? My hat’s definitely off to you.



  1. fillyjonk »

    11 October 2016 · 6:10 pm

    Given my experience with learning French as a tween and teen, and trying to learn German in my 40s: Middle-school is the time to learn a new language; your brain hasn’t fossilized yet.

  2. McG »

    12 October 2016 · 10:24 am

    In junior-high I took nine weeks each of Spanish, French and Latin, and a year and nine weeks of German. I took some more German in high school.

    I’ve picked up some more Spanish since then, but all I know about languages other than English wouldn’t add up to a semi-glot. And that’s latex or enamel.

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