ESPANOL Y EL CEREBRO
By: Kyleigh McQueen
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.
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L1 and L2 = Language 1 and Language 2
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
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Benefits of Learning Language at a Young Age
More Benefits of Early Language Learning
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
You are Never too Old to Learn!
Learning a Second Language Will Keep an Older Person's Mind Moving
Learning a Second Language Will Still Make You Smarter, No Mater How Old You are!