Perfect age for learning english

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  • Publicado : 11 de enero de 2011
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PSYCHOLINGUISTICS

A controversial issue appears when we try to define the perfect age for starting language learning of a second language because, like another biological functions, each learnerhas a different pace of acquisition with particular difficulties/advantages and any study is deciding in its result. Besides, there are several factors involved in the acquisition of a language ratherthan age, such as personality, motivation or aptitude of the learner, which have influence on learning a new language.

In our case I would bet on the learning of English as soon as possible toavoid the critical period. As Lightbown & Spada (1993, page 42) point out “The Critical Period Hypothesis suggests that there is a time in human development when the brain is predisposed for success inlanguage learning. Developmental changes in the brain, it is argued, change the nature of second language acquisition”. According to this theory the critical period will appear at puberty and it wouldbe more difficult the acquisition of the second language like occurs with the first language acquisition. It happens because the process of lateralization takes place at this age and, as a consequence,language abilities finish. For that reason, although there is no proof of impossibility of learning after puberty, we can avoid difficulties if we start learning before this period.

Because ofthat information I would start learning English at 4. In my opinion the most early you speed up the mechanism of learning in a child, most probability of success. In addition with an early acquisitionof another language, rather than your first language, we can obtain more facilities in order to be applicable to learn a third language. The linguist Philip Date highlights in a publication of July,1999:”El niño, al aprender dos lenguas, compara en su mente diferentes sistemas morfosintácticos y cognitivos. Por eso está más capacitado para aprender en el futuro otros idiomas. Promueve su...
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