Adults Can Learn 2nd Language

Something I am particularly interested in, both for myself and the boys.

“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.

It is an accepted fact that the younger the child, the easier it is for them to learn a second language. Children are able to understand words and hear small sound differences that adults often miss – making understanding more difficult for adults. For example, Polish students of English have difficulty differentiating between vowels such as “pen” and “pan” while German students must learn to hear a difference between the v in “vest” and the w in “west”.”

from Eurekalert via