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  • Kem cho!

  • That meanshow are you?” in the Indian language Gujarati.

  • I understand it fluently but I don't remember learning it at all.

  • So what the heck happened?

  • Hey guys what's up I'm Sapna here for DNews.

  • Learning a second language is technically referred to assecond language acquisition”.

  • That's because acquisition and learning are not quite the same.

  • Acquiring a second language is a subconscious process but learning a second language is a conscious process based on formal instruction.

  • Both are important.

  • In 1967 linguist and neuroscientist Eric Lenneberg popularized the Critical Period Hypothesis.

  • It's a theory that proposed the best age range to acquire a new language.

  • Lenneberg said the critical period was age 2 to 13--that's around the age you reach puberty.

  • Now, this age range is debated by language experts and today they prefer to call it thesensitive periodinstead of thecritical period.”

  • That's because it's not so critical that you learn a language during that time period only, it's actually never too late!

  • But research shows there are advantages to starting early and here's why:

  • Kids brains are way better than adults when it comes to learning because of their plasticity--their brains are just better at creating new neural pathways.

  • It does that through the creation of new synapse: the connective junctions where one neuron talks to another using electrical and chemical signals.

  • Shortly after birth, synapses form at a rate that's faster than any other time period in our lives--it's known as the exuberant period where a young brain can create up to two million synapses every second.

  • The number of synapses you have peaks between the ages of 4 to 8, but your brain still has a lot of plasticity until puberty.

  • That is why exposure to language at an early age makes such a big difference.

  • Now, although Lenneberg's Critical Period hypothesis states that that the ideal window to acquire language is age 2 to 13, synapses in the brain's cortex actually start forming much earlier than that, during the second trimester of pregnancy.

  • And there's pretty convincing research that shows language development starts before a baby's even born, so it's probably never too soon for a pregnant mother to speak to her baby.

  • And If you are past puberty, don't worry, it's not too late either.

  • Yeah kids brains are more adaptable and better at making new brain connections but adult brains are better at focusing and better at complex thought processes.

  • In fact, adults are faster at learning a new language.

  • So although kids are better at subconsciously acquiring a language, adults may be better at conscious, systematic, learning.

  • And your brain is not the only thing that matters.

  • There are external factors like who's teaching you the language, and are you around native speakers of that language?

  • And there are internal factors like personality.

  • If you're outgoing you're more likely to practice and not be so afraid to make mistakes.

  • And then there's motivation - if you enjoy learning a language or if you really want to communicate with a hot new boyfriend or girlfriend.

  • It sounds cheesy but studies shows you'll be more successful!

  • There is a catch to learning a language as adult.

  • The research shows you're probably not gonna nail an authentic accent, no matter how hard you try, you're going to sound like a foreigner.

  • But that's okay, because did you know that being bilingual could make you smarter?

  • Trace and Alice explain in this video.

  • Do you speak a second language?

  • Or third or fourth?

  • If so how did you learn it?

  • And do you have any advice on what worked and what didn't?

  • Tell us down in the comments section!

  • Don't forget to Subscribe to DNews and thanks for watching!

Kem cho!

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B1 US language period learning age critical puberty

What’s The Best Age To Learn A Second Language?

  • 1861 61
    nanako.kamiya posted on 2020/09/09
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