A US professor studying how expatriate children learn foreign languages says it is more important they first have a stable first language.
Professor Laurie Tuller of the Francois Rabelais University in Tours is currently assessing how expatriate children living in France pick up a new tongue, reports examiner.com.
So far she has revealed that forcing a foreign language through TV, books and comics is not always a good way to promote learning.
As part of her three-year funded study she also notes expatriate children speak a slightly different version of English to those back in Britain.
The government has said that every child in the UK will start learning a foreign language from as early as seven-years-old.
The former education secretary, Alan Johnson, said he wanted to put languages "at the heart of learning" because "the earlier you start learning a language the better".