Age and Learning a New Language What Essay
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Age and Learning a New Language
What is the ideal age for a person to be able to learn a new language? What are the dynamics (besides age) that contribute to SLA? This paper delves into those subjects using scholarly articles as resources.
The Literature on Learning a New Language and Age
"…Early beginners, through their longer exposure to L2, reach the necessary competence levels in their two languages sooner to allow transfer in both directions…" (Djigunovic, 2010).
Why are very young students especially gifted to pick up new languages quickly? The scholarship shows that younger learners "…have no awkwardness or inhibitions with the new language" and don't get too upset when they make mistakes (Cenoz, 2003, p. 77). As to whether or not younger learners "…soak up new languages" simply because the soak up information like a sponge soaks up water, Cenoz has his doubts. Indeed studies show younger learners excel in "listening comprehension," they are helped enormously by their positive attitudes and they are "…motivated because the teaching methodology used in kindergarten and primary school" tends to zero in on "communicative skills rather than on the formal structure of languages" (Cenoz, 79). Moreover, younger people approaching SLA have a "general positive attitude towards
...And importantly for teachers that work with young SLA learners, just because a student lacks a particular sound in their L1, doesn't mean at all that they lack the "building blocks" to acquire new sounds in their newly learned language.
Meanwhile, in the peer-reviewed journal Language and Speech, the authors report that the "age of arrival" (AoA) of an immigrant child has an effect of the "…production of second language (L2) prosody" (Huang, 2011, p. 387). "Prosody" means the intonation and rhythm (and the emotion) of the speech pattern. In this research article, three groups of ten Mandarin-speaking immigrants (with varying AoA) were tested and compared with ten native speakers of English; they were tested…
Sources Used in Documents:
Cenoz, Jasone. (2003). "The Effect of Age on Foreign Language Acquisition in Formal
Contexts. In Age and the Acquisition of English As a Foreign Language, M. Mayo, and M.
Lecumberri, Eds. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
Cummins, Jim, and Davison, Chris. (2007). International Handbook of English Language
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