One year of doing Russian/English OPOL in Ukraine

Starting this post I found myself in a bit unsure position. On the one hand the audience is Russian-speaking and I clearly should address you in a conventional way. On the other hand we all should practice English more and, oddly enough, when writing about my experience of raising my son in English, I`m experiencing a weird awkwardness in my native tongue. So despite of possible flaws, let`s begin.

On early bilingualism

Three stages of early bilingualism:

(1) the child has one lexical system which includes words from both languages;

(2) the child distinguishes two different lexicons but applies the same syntactic rules to both languages;

(3) the child has two linguistic codes, differentiated both in lexicon and in syntax, but each language is exclusively associated with the person using that language.


Bilingual children have been shown to differentiate their languages as young as two years of age, and possibly earlier. In terms of developmental milestones, research suggests that there is no outstanding difference between bilinguals and monolinguals.

What is the Best Age to Learn a Foreign Language?

small_discussion.jpgThe fact that my father dealt with native English speakers in his job as an interpreter didn’t facilitate my learning the language when I went to a Russian school with English bias at the age of seven. I encountered a lot of difficulties and didn’t make good progress in understanding grammar. It resulted in my inability to communicate in English in India where I had to spend seven months of my life being a ten-year-old. I only began to understand English grammar taking lessons from a private teacher before entering the institute. An idea began to form in my mind that it would be great to teach my future child to speak two languages at once.