The Influence of Age Factors on Second Language Acquisition

2762 WordsOct 17, 201312 Pages
The Influence of Age Factors on Second Language Acquisition Xu Bailin Abstract: In second language acquisition, age factors has always been the study focus and one of the most controversial issues of linguistics. Based on the Brain Plasticity Theory and the Critical Period Hypothesis, the purpose is to prove such a hypothesis that the younger the leaner who begins to learn an second language,the greater the probability that he or she will achieve a native-like command of it. (许柏琳 110502112753) 摘要:在二语习得中,年龄因素一直都是语言学中的焦点以及最有争议的问题之一。本文以大脑弹性理论以及关键期假设为基础,详细比较了儿童和成人第二语言学习的相似于不同,旨在通过对比研究初步证实越早开始学习第二语言就越有可能获得像本土人一样的语言能力这个假设。 Key word: second language acquisition age factors…show more content…
The theory suggests that the little kid’s brain has a cellular receptivity to language acquisition. This receptivity may be a function of cellular plasticity or elasticity which is controlled by a sort of biological clock. With age, the biological clock changes the cellular plasticity, which reduces the organism’s capacity to learn langugage. Penfield and Roberts predict that an optimal age period for L2 learning is between 4 and 8 because of greater brain plasticity. 2.2 Critical Period Hypothesis The notion of “critical period” closely connecting with “plasticity” for language acquisition is a period, somewhere in childhood or at puberty, after which leaning language becomes markdly more difficult. First proposed by Lenneberg in 1967, Critical Period Hypothesis predicts that “younger is bertter”, complete acquisition of speech can occur only before the end of neurological plasticity and speech acquired after this event will be acquired more slowly and will be less successful. He notes that the age at which persistent aaphasic symptoms result from left-hemisphere injury is approximately the same age,around puberty, at which “foreign accent” became likely in SLA. Researchers differ over when this eriod comes to an end. A particularly convincing study made by Johnson and Newport suggests that the period ends at about age 15. grammaticality judgment was tested in a large group of subjects who had immigrated to the United States at
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