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Language development and age

By: Herschensohn, Julia (University of Washington)

1107404886 / 9781107404885
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23 cm 303 p.
Professional & Vocational  Learn More
Reprint. Originally published: 2007.

The anecdotal view of language acquisition is that children learn language with apparent ease, no instruction and in very little time, while adults find learning a new language to be cognitively challenging, labour intensive and time-consuming.

In this book Herschensohn examines whether early childhood is a critical period for language acquisition after which individuals cannot learn a language as native speakers.

She argues that a first language is largely susceptible to age constraints, showing major deficits past the age of twelve.

Second-language acquisition also shows age effects, but with a range of individual differences.

The competence of expert adult learners, the unequal achievements of child learners of second languages, and the lack of consistent evidence for a maturational cut-off, all cast doubt on a critical period for second-language acquisition.


CFDC Language acquisition

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