Does Age Play A Role? A Second Language Acquisition? Essay
In recent years, more and more parents have decided to introduce their children to one, or even several foreign languages in order to increase their opportunities in professional life. Parents are often uncertain whether or not their children could actually benefit from multilingualism and if an early acquisition of a foreign language could interfere with their child’s ability to fluently speak the mother tongue. To optimally prepare the little ones for their multilingual future, parents and educators increasingly hold the opinion that, when it comes to foreign language acquisition, it is beneficial to begin at a young age. Generally speaking, does that mean that that young children learn foreign languages better than adolescents or adults?
The relationship between age and language acquisition is an important field of international language acquisition research, neuroscience, as well as linguistic research.
In their article "The Role of Age of Acquisition in Bilingual Word Translation: Evidence from Spanish-English Bilinguals”, Michael J. Bowers and Shelia M. Kennison suggest that words learned during early childhood are more easily remembered than those learned later in childhood and during adulthood. In order to obtain support for their hypothesis, they conducted a bilingual translation experiment with thirty-six highly proficient Spanish-English bilinguals, of whom 22 were females and 14 were males with an average age…