Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Language teaching

The Age Factor in Second Language Acquisition

Author YangYan
Tutor JiangZuo
School Liaoning Normal University
Course Subject Teaching
Keywords age factor second language acquisition learning strategy CPH
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Recently, more and more people pay attention to the age difference in the process of second language learning (SLL). Many studies consider this age factor as one of the most important factors. It has obviously become the focus of the researchers and linguists. The Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH), which is very famous, proves a limited and specific period for language acquisition. Penfield and Roberts first supported the CPH in 1959. Then Lenneberg also gave his support later in 1967. This belief was so popular that more and more parents send their children to learn English earlier and earlier.In face of this low-age learning tend, the author holds the view that finding out the relationship between the starting age of language learns and their scores is very necessary. This study can help parents and teachers to make wiser choices for the students. What’s more, it can also give a hand to the teachers to use more proper strategies and methods.There are many subjects with different ages in this study, including the children (5-7years old), adolescents (16-17 years old) and graduated adults (30-35 years old). The author studies a case, a test and a questionnaire in the study. The results showed that different aging learners have different learning characteristics and there is strong relationship between the starting age of language learns and their English grasping ability. In other words, the language learners, whose starting age is younger, have more advantages than those whose starting age is older.Meanwhile, the author gives some suggestions on the teaching methods according to the learners at different ages with the hope of improving the efficiency of teaching and learning.

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