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Polygence Scholar2020
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Ava Spalding

Campolindo High SchoolClass of 2023Moraga, California



  • "Adult language learning: Lessons and Departures from Children's Language Learning" with mentor Gal (Working project)

Project Portfolio

Adult language learning: Lessons and Departures from Children's Language Learning

Started Feb. 5, 2021

Abstract or project description

Learning a second language, especially after childhood, can be a frustrating experience for students and teachers alike. In fact, people have argued that children undergo a ‘critical period’ for language acquisition, implying that the later acquisition of a second language can only proceed slowly and imperfectly. However, we argue that adults can learn from the way that children immerse themselves and acquire first- and second languages. Exploring the differences and similarities between children’s and adult’s learning can not only inform how we understand language learning but also generate recommendations for how to improve it. We survey the literature on language acquisition in children and adults, and develop specific recommendations for how to maximize the efficiency of language learning based on neuroscientific and psychological evidence and theories about how adults acquire second languages.