Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Guanajuato, Mexico -- They Speak Spanish Here!

I wrote last time that too many "older adults" automatically assume that because they've reached a certain age that the "jig is up" when it comes to second language acquisition.

That is not true and the science supports it.


"It has been documented that the older one gets the more difficult it becomes to learn a foreign language."


Actually, there is no credible evidence to show that the older one becomes the more difficult it is to learn a foreign language. This belief is almost an urban myth and is not linguistically sound.

It is an emotional issue that prevents adults from trying and succeeding to learn Spanish.

Researchers Krashen, Long, and Scarcella showed that,

"Studies comparing the rate of second language acquisition in children and adults have shown that although children may have an advantage in achieving native-like fluency in the long run, adults actually learn languages more quickly than children in the early stages. (Krashen, Long, and Scarcella, 1979)."

Recommended Courses:

Learning Spanish Like Crazy


Recommended Reading:

S. Krashen, R. Scarcella, & M. Long (eds.), Child-Adult Differences in Second Language Acquisition, Newbury House

1. Adults proceed through the earlier stages of syntactic and morphological development faster than children (where age and exposure are held constant)
2. Older children acquire faster than younger Children (again, the early stages of syntactic and morphological development re time and exposure are held constant.
3. Acquirers who begin natural exposure to second languages during childhood generally achieve higher second language proficiency than those beginning as adults.

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