Royce Shook

1 year ago · 1 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Learning a new language?

According to a study, A Critical Period for Second Language Acquisition: Evidence from 2/3 Million English Speakers the best time to learn a new language with native-speaker proficiency is by the age of 10. Children under 10 can more easily absorb information and excel in the new language.

Young people under the age of 18 can still show great skill at mastering the grammar of a new language, but things start to get more challenging beyond this point.

For the study, researchers assessed 670,000 people of different nationalities and ages to determine their grammatical skills in a second language. Why do young children learn languages faster than other ages? Well, one reason could be that as we age, we apply discipline and intellect to our approach. We become rigid in our methods of learning, and we are afraid, or nervous about making mistakes in our new language, so we are hesitant when speaking.

Watch a young child as they learn a language, they feel it, and are recklessly spontaneous and dive right in but most significantly, they are never afraid to say something incorrectly, which increases their opportunities to speak, be understood (even when mistakes are made), learn faster, and have more fun with it.

Whereas we, as we age, take a logical approach, we learn how to conjugate verbs, remember genders, and we often refrain from speaking entirely, limiting our chances to practice. By not practising we ensure that we won’t be understood, so making advancement is so slow, so we don’t’ have any fun and we get frustrated and we quit.

This got me wondering... where else in your life has your fear of making little mistakes held you back from major gains?

As I count the ways, that my fears might have held me back, I want to invite you to consider the same... maybe at work, trying out new hobbies, learning new skills, falling in love, communicating with family, or making more money? Learning a new language?

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