Español y El Cerebro

Second Language Acquisition

What is the best age to learn a second language?

According to Lenneberg's "Critical Period Hypothesis", the acquired age to learn a second language is from 1 1/2 yrs. old to puberty. The ability to learn a language is negatively affected by the completion of process of laterlization. Laterlization is when each side of the brain develops its own specialized functions. When you are younger you use both parts of the brain, but when you are older you only use one part. Laterlization is completed by puberty.

BICS ( Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills)


- From 2 to 3 years, you should be able to converse

- From 4 to 10 years, you should have the ability to read, write, speak, and listen at an academic level.

The Advances of being younger/older

Andvances of being younger:
  • More likely to receive easier input
  • More likely to develop a native-like accent
  • Need less information to be considered proficient

Advances of being older:

  • Can cautiously use strategies to aid learning
  • Has knowledge L1 to use from
  • Has greater control of input

Early Speech Production

The characteristics of early speech production include; being able to understand more than able to produce, can produce one or two words at a time, and picking up phrases.