Learning a Second Language

We are learning a second language!!!

Age and Second Language

The critical period hypothesis:

Lenneberg stated that a second language is best learned between age 2 and puberty.

Critical Period Hypothesis:

Laterialization is when each side of the brain develops its own specialized functions

-Younger second language learners use same parts of their brain to learn

-Older Second language learners use different parts of their brain.

Younger second language learners:

Learners (before 5) are actually native speakers of both languages, they learn both language one and language two the same way.

Advantages to being young:

-More likely to develop a native like accent

-less to learn to be proficient

-more likely to receive easier input

Advantages to being older:

-can consciously use strategies to aid learning

-has knowledge from language one to draw from

-has greater input


BICS (Basic Interpersonal Communication) says about 4-10 years to have the ability to read, write, speak, and listen at an academic level.

Factors that affect L2 acquisition


-access to language


-quality of instruction

-cognitive ability

-L1 development