MotherTongues: Wear Words, Celebrate Cultures

about words, languages, cultures, travel

On acquiring language November 5, 2012

I recently watched this TED talk by Patricia Kuhl on how babies learn a language. It is very informative to learn about the research being done on acquiring a new language. She shows how it is critical for a person to interact with the baby: learning sounds through just audio or just television, doesn’t work at all!

In the video, she shows a graph about the “critical period” for learning a language: before age 7. In our family I know our kids have been able to learn Spanish much more easily than my husband and me. But I do have hope that it is still possible to learn a new language(s) after the age of 7!

It is upsetting to me that schools are shifting the learning of another language to Middle School or even later.  We should learn from other countries where second language learning starts in Kindergarten.

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