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Age Factor in Learning a Secnd Language ( The Critical Period Hypothesis) - Research Paper Example

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The popular belief that children are much better off in terms of learning a foreign / second language as compared to the adult learners, as proposed by the critical period hypothesis has garnered wide spread criticisms, as well as support and hence has been a highly debatable…
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Age Factor in Learning a Secnd Language ( The Critical Period Hypothesis)
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Age Factor in Learning a Secnd Language ( The Critical Period Hypothesis)

Download file to see previous pages... The paper also includes a detailed section which analyses the findings and presents a fair view of the scenario and the issues that dominate this particular branch of linguistic research.
Adults are regarded to exceed in virtually every field of learning, on account of the presence of highly developed cognitive skills, as compared to children. However, with regard to language learning, children seem to have a better edge. There are innumerable instances where children have been able to learn a second language faster than adults and achieve native-like expertise, while in case of adults such a competence is rarely observed. It is on account of this very reason that issue regarding the existence of a certain sensitive / critical period of learning exists among individuals which fosters language development. Researchers and academic scholars as well as general observers have noted that children – up to a certain age, have a better grasp of learning languages – both native as well as foreign / second language, than their adult counterparts. During this period their language learning skills are heightened and once this period lapses, their skills begin to fade, and acquiring native-like proficiency in language learning becomes all the more difficult, beyond a certain age.
However there are several criticisms and contradictory views offered by others. In response to the critical period for language learning, certain researchers have opposed the hypothesis, stating that native-like skills can be found in certain adult learners with regard to second language. Yet another group of researchers have stated that over and above the critical period of language learning, there are other factors which also play an important role in learning a language a second language. These include sociological, psychological as well as physiological factors.
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