State Duma Deputy Irina Spring said that the study of foreign languages is a "threat to the traditions," and criticized the idea of the Ministry of education to introduce a compulsory exam in a foreign language and add a second language in the school curriculum. In the Duma, it was supported. T&P contacted 6 experts from the field of neuroscience, psycholinguistics, translation, and social psychology to find out how useful the study of foreign languages and the consequences of its absence. "A few languages provide several pictures of the world"
Even Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote that "the world of man is what his language". Language in large measure determines how we see the world and how it is perceived. According to the hypothesis Sepira period (the hypothesis of linguistic relativity), which is actively discussed in science, language affects our thinking and learning process. Therefore, when a person knows more than one language, it has a few pictures of the world. It is incomparably richer life. Learning foreign languages is necessary not because it is useful for travel — now you can do English, and because, penetrating into another language, you invade other worlds. Why do people learn Latin, Greek, Sumerian? After all, those of the Sumerians, the ancient Greeks and Latins long gone. And yet, to imagine the world in which they lived, by examining their languages. Language is not a technical question of wellbeing when you in China to go to the store and say the right words. Not the case, and that you are expanding your world.
Any learning changes the brain. And when the brain learns, it increases the number and quality of neural connections, the effectiveness of gray and white matter is increasing. So no matter what the brain is busy, decides whether it is simple crosswords that particular person seems like a difficult task, or proving a difficult theorem, which as mental work suitable for other people, it improves brain. This is true in any age because the neural network is developing every second. The brain is always changing, even in 90 years. The study of foreign languages in this sense extremely effectively due to switching codes. When you move from one language to another, for the brain is a very difficult job. And difficult — so good.
Of course, the younger the brain, the more plastic, that is, the more capable of learning and changing, so the sooner people whatever starting to learn the more from this point. In the area of foreign language is a triple. This does not mean that in adulthood, this should not or cannot do — just in childhood, such lessons much more efficient.
Canadian scientists conducted experiments that showed that people who know more than one language, push the memory loss for several years due to the development of neural connections. When a person speaks several languages, he works harder neural network. The brain in this case will be more saved. This pushes the theoretically possible decrease of intellectual abilities, including memory loss.
Tatiana Chernigovskaya, Neurolinguist, doctor of philological Sciences, doctor of biological Sciences, Professor of St. Petersburg state University "the Refusal of the languages of Russia will return to a state of savagery" foreign language proficiency affect a breadth of thinking. In addition, people who study it, much more sensitive attitude to their native, Russian language, and, consequently, literature. Because language is often taught not only practical purposes, but in order to read the artwork or non-fiction. From foreign languages come concepts that are impossible to translate, and which are not in our reality, so that their study substantially broadens the mind. On the mental ability to it is also, of course, has a positive impact. Languages are necessary for those who are engaged in science, because many materials now are not translated, and is never translated in its entirety.
Of course, there are people who are not very capable in foreign languages, but completely unable not. Not knowing the language limits cognition in General — both social and scientific, and others. It makes a person more limited. Over the last 20 years in Russia people have to learn the language, and became involved in a wider range of information. You definitely get a lot more information about life, if you know the language.
We all exist in the same world, and a foreign language introduces us to other civilizations. These introductions do not occur on someone's selection: the man begins to navigate freely that he wants to know. Transfers to cover possible, so some things you need to know the original. Or, say, someone who deals with literature, will be able to compare what he read in a foreign language with what he read in Russian. It broadens his range of knowledge. And so shall it be in any field. Neither physics nor computer science, nor anywhere else it s impossible to learn only through translations.
Of course, with some effort you can translate any text. But in the world there are many concepts that we do not come in Russian, first in the form of barbarism, and later become a part of and the result to expand it. You can take any scientific dictionary and you will see how many words we simply borrowed. It seems to us that the word "influence" has always been in Russian, but actually it was invented by Nikolay Karamzin, is a calque from the French "influence". If for a second you will see how many foreign words exist in Russian. For example, the word "computer". The first such machine was called "the counting-critical devices", but then their designation in English simply ceased to translate. When you say "computer" instead of "the counting-critical device", you spend less on the extra life action. You can translate all, but the concept of some languages are constantly included in other — first alien bodies, and then, if this is the right thing that eats into his normal form.
Russian language has absorbed a huge number of Tatar, Turkic, Latin, and Greek words. Usually we do not even suspect that some element of the language is actually Greek borrowing, but in Greece, as soon as you learned to read letters, you immediately begin to understand the signs. Russian pulls words from everywhere. Celtic, Saxon, French, Danish and even full, there has to be Dutch, especially if we start talking about sailing fleet. Under Peter I, the Dutch we stole a lot of concepts relating to the ship business. We just do not notice that these words are of foreign origin. "Atom", "Jesus Christ", and "Patriarch" are foreign words. If no one knew Greek or English, these concepts we have just had, and again we would turn into barbarians.
To stop teaching foreign languages means to stop the development of the Russian. Russian language is the main field of all intellectual activities in Russia. If you artificially limit it, to cut off from the world by the iron curtain, we will have a mentally retarded country. The rejection of foreign languages, Russia will return to a state of savagery.
Viktor Golyshev, Translator of Anglo-American literature, the author of classical translations of many works "the Poverty of language may be attributed to lack of mental development" Today, there are many studies in which magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) made it possible to see how volume increases associated with speech brain structures when learning a second language, even in adults. This suggests that the brain has in principle the resources of mastering several languages. There are studies that have shown significant development of cognitive (cognitive) skills in people who can speak two or more languages. This is not surprising because on the basis of language formed concepts, and thinking is nothing like the operation with concepts.
It has long been observed that poverty of language is correlated with failure of mental development. This is primarily due to the fact that, in the words of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, "the limits of our knowledge are determined by the boundaries of our language". Language training is one of the most intelligent exertion of the brain. It's not just rote memorization of new words, but also the integration of these words into a single system of concepts. Like any training, teaching maintains a high level of functionality of the brain.
The second, third, etc. languages explicitly make a mental picture of the world more rich, more rich in descriptions of how interrelated things and phenomena. Thus, each subject receives more "clues" for memorization and later retrieval from memory. The memory becomes more robust, capacious and more associative. The latter quality is especially important because this Association are the basis of creativity.
Alexander Kaplan, Doctor of biological Sciences, physiologist, head of the laboratory of neurophysiology and neurointerface MSU "Languages affect thought processes, memory and identity" learning a foreign language, like any other experience, is not lost to our consciousness, and brain function. Any information coming into the brain from the outside at any moment of its activity, modifies neural connections. The consciousness of the person who can speak two or more languages, will never be equivalent to consciousness monolingual — a person that speaks only one language. The experiments — for example, they are described in the works of Judith Kroll (Kroll Judith), — show that bilinguals automatically activate both languages in their mental lexicon, even when the language situation is unfolding in only one language. For example, when a person speaks English, hears the word "marker", he in addition to English words also activates the Russian "brand" (Marian & Spivey, 2003). To avoid confusion in languages, bilinguals have to constantly "juggle" with words and concepts while suppressing irrelevant to the current speech situation information. Some scientists believe that this mechanism helps bilingual children develop Executive functions, and show greater cognitive flexibility compared to monolingually.
The idea of "cognitive superiority of bilingual" first appeared in the mid 80-ies and since then developed mostly under the guidance of a psychologist from the University of Toronto Ellen Bialystok (Ellen Bialystok). Over the past 30 years scientists have conducted many studies and found that children - and adults-bilinguals are faster and better able to cope with tasks that require switching attention, the solution of cognitive conflict situations, the choice between relevant and irrelevant information. Bilingualism affects the safety and the maintenance of cognitive functions in the elderly. For example, in one study in 2010, experts studied data from 200 patients with Alzheimer's disease and found that those who spoke several languages, were experiencing symptoms 5.1 years later.
Of course, the concept of the cognitive advantages bilinguals while the need to be skeptical — after all, a large amount of data remains outside of scientific journals, and we still do not know much about how to "get along" several languages in the human mind, and what mechanisms are responsible for it. But the value of such linguistic knowledge is definitely very big, because languages constantly interact with one another within the human cognitive system affect thought processes and memory and leave a mark on personal characteristics, not to mention the socio-cultural component.
Anna Lukyanchenko, an employee of the laboratory HSE neurolinguistics, PhD (University of Maryland, USA) "a foreign language a person is deprived of the hands of" a Society in which learning a foreign language have limited or banned, it will become lopsided and dull. Languages enrich each other and without interaction with other systems Russian will not develop. Indeed, in other languages there are concepts and descriptions of phenomena that are just not in our reality. I have no such concepts, without these names we cannot learn anything about the unknown or new phenomena. The cultural environment will also be cut off, so that our worldview is greatly affected.
The man, unable to speak anything but their native language in communication is simply devoid of hands. When it somewhere and leaving it immediately is completely dependent on other people and feels helpless. He wants it always drove guides, he can not live alone. A man can find himself only in his native country, and as soon as it will extract from there, he will immediately face huge quantities problems.
Person who knows only one culture, may become less tolerant and more suspicious, and very limited. In the modern world is, of course, is rare: to be so within the same environment, you need to be born in a closed tribe in the Amazon. Most of the world's population have access to books, television and sometimes even the Internet, so we are constantly confronted with other cultures. But the question of how we can understand them and are willing to accept is directly related to the study of languages. The restrictions in this area hamper the development of culture in the first place in the country where they operate.
Lily Braynis, Social psychologist "the man who forcibly restricted the native language and native culture will be taken, the ability to understand the world" Absolutely all scientific researches of linguists and psychologists clearly indicate that the more languages one knows, the higher his intellectual level and better capacity for adaptation in the surrounding world and all cognitive abilities. The reverse is never observed. Talk about the fact that learning foreign languages can be harmful, no scientific reason for them not to have. I understand why these conversations occur: the authors of these ideas do not like the values that are behind languages. But the struggle with values is one thing, but struggle with languages — is quite another. This is the wrong way.
The man had forcibly confined the native language and native culture will be taken, the ability to understand the world, since language is key to the perception of foreign culture. It would be like to get someone instead of color photographs to consider only black and white. The world is diverse and this is reflected in what are different languages. This variety of man can be deprived, if you close it the road to study them.
According to the General opinion of all the researchers, the earlier we start to learn the language, the easier and less strain to digest it. In the childhood of the man in the head to operate the mechanisms which allow it to learn the native language. After six or seven years, these mechanisms fade away. In the adult they are practically absent. So when the child begins to learn a foreign language, he does it effortlessly: it is easy enough to give lessons, and there are special techniques that help children in this. If we miss this deadline, in adulthood, to start will be difficult.
Not that our schools are so well taught foreign languages, this question can not be. Why teach them worse? Among the statements Irina Spring was a rhetorical question: "Citizens of what country we vopium?". This question is easy to answer. Teaching children foreign languages, we vopium citizens of a modern, strong and competitive country.
Russian, like every major language, its history is very much interacted with other languages. Since the first literary monuments and the early stages of its formation, we see the traces of highly diverse influences. For example, we observed a very early German influence — the so-called Gothic borrowing. The most simple, native Russian words: "house", "bread", "glass", "letter", is a very early germanisms included in the Russian language even in preliterate times. There are a number of Scandinavian borrowings. The Greek is very strongly influenced by Russian, which was associated with the adoption of Christianity, — but the Greek language was not only the Church but also the household. For example, "notebook", "beets" or "sail" — this is a long vehicle. Then in Russian flowed a powerful stream of turkisms, even though their impact need not be overemphasized. Many important areas were affected: in particular, the administrative-financial area. For example, words such as "money", "custom", "label", "Treasury", is a Turkism. There are plenty of everyday language: "Kaftan, "hood", and others. Then came the epoch of Peter, and with it came a huge stream of elements from Western European languages. At first it was gollandskie words, then German and French, and later English. The Enlightenment also brought us many German and French words: "role", "Boulevard", "Royal", "bridgehead", "scar" and hundreds of others.
We are accustomed to these words and often are not even aware that they are borrowing. I'm not talking about words like "hut", which for many hundreds of years — but who's going to suspect less long Turkism "hearth" or in the very recent "scar" a foreign word? It is an absolutely natural process, language is enriched with borrowings and improve its ability to reflect the world around us. From this point of view, no problems there, the problems can be only for people with deep complexes.
Borrowing is not a threat to tradition. In those terms it is rather strange to talk about language. Threats to language are very different, if they even meet him on the way and they are far away. Borrowing should not be afraid and fight with them is pointless. Language is a natural phenomenon that is difficult to control and management. We can't undo, say, the dative? Similarly, it was very difficult to ban a word and to instill instead a different. Similar attempts were made in the past, but their effect was negligible.
People who call a threat to the traditions of the study of foreign languages, most likely, I'm afraid those values connected with culture, expressing themselves through these languages. It is a substitution of concepts. The man himself is able to sort, arrange those values or not. Why decide for it? In itself learning a foreign language does not change our minds as I think the authors of such initiatives. Just the person has a choice. He's gonna judge, having access to texts and other people. In itself, the study only develops intelligence just as physical exercises develop the muscles and enhance health. To deprive a person of access to foreign language learning, especially in childhood, is to deprive him of motion or color vision. It's a stupid forced impoverishment of spiritual development, not motivated by anything. Very sad if these ideas prevail.published by P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©