The Older Language Learner

Jun 22nd, 2015
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— Our ability to hear and understand a second language becomes more and more difficult with age, but the adult brain can be retrained to pick up foreign sounds more easily again. This finding, reported by Dr Paul Iverson of the UCL Centre for Human Communication, at the "Plasticity in Speech Perception 2005" workshop - builds on an important new theory

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Adults Can Be Retrained To Learn Second Languages More Easily, Says UCL ScientistScienceDaily (June 15, 2005) Our ability to hear and understand a second language becomes more and more difficult with age, but the adult brain can be retrained to pick up foreign sounds more easily again. This finding, reported by Dr Paul Iverson of the UCL Centre for Human Communication, at the "Plasticity in Speech Perception 2005" workshop - builds on an important new theory that the difficulties we have with learning languages in later life are not biological and that, given the right stimulus, the brain can be retrained.The Older Language Learnerby Mary SchleppegrellCan older adults successfully learn foreign languages? Recent research is providing increasingly positive answers to this question. The research shows that:there is no decline in the ability to learn as people get older;except for minor considerations such as hearing and vision loss, the age of the adult learner is not a major factor in language acquisition;the context in which adults learn is the major influence on their ability to acquire the new language.Contrary to popular stereotypes, older adults can be good foreign language learners. The difficulties older adults often experience in the language classroom can be overcome through adjustments in the learning environment, attention to affective factors, and use of effective teaching methods.AGING AND LEARNING ABILITYThe greatest obstacle to older adult la

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