Long Term Benefits Of An Early Start When Younger And Older Starters

876 WordsMay 3, 20174 Pages
long-term benefits of an early start when younger and older starters have had the same number of hours of instruction.’ (Cook and Singleton, 2014: 30) and that is also a myth that children can more quickly & easily ‘absorb’ language in immersive environments than older learners(Snow & Hoefnagel-Hohle, 1978). Besides the factor of age, one of the other most obvious factors that could be seen to affect L2 attainment is that of motivation and, subsequently, perseverance (Cook and Singleton, 2014). Motivation is a variable that is seen to apply more to the situation of older learners, especially in the form of either instrumental or integrative motivation, that is, that the motivation for learning an L2 is either practically motivated or…show more content…
An older starter’s exposure to a second language will likely be mostly classroom based and acquired in a more structured and explicit way, e.g. night classes, language courses etc. In this case, then, their L2 input will be a lot more limited than that of a younger immigrant and it will probably take them longer to become proficient. There is also the idea that some individuals may have access to more natural input than others depending on their area of work. What this means is that some individuals may be employed in jobs that require a lot more interaction in their target language than other fields of work. Compare, for example, the exposure an immigrant whose job involves working as a personal assistant will have access to, versus the input of L2 work as a cleaner may entail. The two jobs provide different levels of interaction, and as such, some individuals may progress in their second language at a faster rate than other depending on their field of work. This idea is supported by the statement that immigrants are ‘exposed to qualitatively and quantitatively different samples of the new language’ (Hakuta, Bialystok and Wiley, 2003:31). What we can conclude about the connection between age and L2 attainment from all the areas we have examined is that there is no clear conclusion. While a connection can be observed between the age at

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