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Additional TEFL Courses
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BilingualismThere is a general idea that each person has a mother tongue. This term is however problematic. Just think of the bilingually educated child who knows German best but says ?German is my father tongue.? Therefore, other terms exist such as native language, or cradle tongue. They refer to the language exposed to within a so-called critical period, i.e. the first few years in childhood. But, then, everybody knows of immigrant kids to the US who due to schooling and environment develop a different sociolinguistic identity than that of their parents. Slowly, their dominant language changes to English, which eventually becomes their first language. This is why most linguists prefer this term. Wikepedia identifies five criteria for a person?s first language: origin and early exposure, internal identification, external identification, competence, use. Now, it becomes clear that the notion of first language is a relative one. And it may change over a person?s lifetime. The order of learning and proficiency might not necessarily go together. The author of this article takes the liberty to cite her own example here: With Dutch being the mother?s tongue (which