People move a lot and become immigrants in other countries. Many immigrants, in every historical time frame, come to countries without an prior knowledge of the language. However, they usually learn the language.

My question is: for first generation immigrants who don't have an education, that is, they haven't gone to school/university, is it more difficult to acquire the language? You can expect them to have no metalinguistic knowledge. Does this affect the quality of their acquired language, with respect to educated/qualified immigrants?

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    Except for the possible acquisition of good study habits (which certainly is true for some educated people), there is no real difference. If you think about it, you realize that people have been learning multiple languages as a matter of course for about a hundred thousand years, and succeeding well enough to survive, which is all that counts. Until very very recently, none of them were "educated" in any way we would recognize. Education is technology, and we humans haven't had time to adapt to it the way we have with language. So results are completely unpredictable.
    – jlawler
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 18:59


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