In Alice in Wonderland, there are lots of crazy conversations, like the Mad Hatter’s tea party, and lots of poems that are full of words that are very strange to Alice. She hasn’t grown up in Wonderland, so she doesn’t understand its language!
Learning different languages is hard because each language is composed of different kinds of sounds. For example, English-speaking people can tell the different sounds in English apart very easily, but they find it much harder to differentiate between Mandarin Chinese sounds.
Babies can tell the difference between different types of language sounds very easily, because they are born ready to learn whatever language is being spoken around them.
A baby’s brain strengthens the connections is its brain that are relevant to its own language, and the other connections are lost. The connections that are left get stronger and faster.
Children in British schools usually only start learning other languages in secondary school – when their in-built ability to learn other languages really easily has already gone!
So, do you think that you should be able to learn languages in primary school, like Alice did?