ESPANOL Y EL CEREBRO

By: Kyleigh McQueen

Period: 2

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Why Should We Learn a Second Language?

Learning another language gives the learner the ability to step inside the mind and context of that other culture. Without the ability to communicate and understand a culture on its own terms, true access to that culture is barred.

3 Things that I Learned About Spanish and the Brain

L1 and L2 = Language 1 and Language 2

Número Uno

According to Eric Lennberg, a linguist and neurologist who pioneered ideas on language acquisition, "L2 is best learned between age 2 and puberty." Why would you say this? Well, because this is when the brain is growing the most. Lennberg also said, "Ability to learn language is negatively affected by the completion of process of lateralization." (Lateralization is when each side of the brain develops own specialized functions). If you start learning your second language at a young age you wont have to adjust as much with lateralization.

Numero Dos

There are many advantages to learning a second language at a young age. They don't have to learn to adjust to different languages as much as adults and teenagers do. For example, children being taught a second language as soon as they are able to speak to about age five are actually considered native speakers of both languages. Also, lots of children learning a second language at a young age are actually learning L1 and L2 the way a native speaker does. For example, a kid born in America, with Mexican born parents, will be taught both languages from a young age and most likely speak both of them fluently.


Other Advantages of Young Learners Are:

  • They are more likely to develop a native-like accent
  • They have less to learn to be considered proficient in their second language
  • They are more likely to receive comprehensible information or material

Número Tres

There are also many advantages of being an older learner. So NO, you’re not too old. Adults are better learners than babies because they have already done the majority of the work that adults will simply take for granted. One of the biggest excuses you’ll always hear is “…but I’m too old”. It doesn’t matter what age the person is. I even see 50, 60 and 70 year olds who are successfully taking on new languages! Steve Kaufmann points out, "Recent brain research has demonstrated that our brains remain plastic well into old age." Having in-depth knowledge of English grammar too (as was often taught in great detail at schools in the past) serves as an indispensable base for understanding the structure of a foreign language. Also, learning a second language at an older age can be like opening a door to another world; one in which both the social and cognitive are refreshed and invigorated. Those who cast aside doubt and embrace the benefits are guaranteed to prosper, often much sooner than they might expect. (https://www.pimsleurapproach.com/resources/language-research/language/benefits-of-learning-a-second-language/)


Other Advantages of Older Learners Are:

  • They will consciously use strategies to aid learning
  • They have knowledge from L1 to draw from
  • They have a greater control over information and material

THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH WANTING TO LEARN, SO NO MATTER WHAT AGE YOU ARE, YOU CAN DO IT!

GO OUT THERE AND DO IT! NOTHING IS STOPPING YOU BUT YOURSELF!

FLYER MADE BY STUDENT