The Effects of Learning a Second Language in Adulthood Essay

The Effects of Learning a Second Language in Adulthood Essay

Length: 2277 words (6.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Research Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Being able to speak more than one language is proving to be a valuable skill in modern society. Many children across the world are at least bilingual, leaving many American parents wondering if they too, should learn to speak another language. While this debate remains ongoing, many adults are seeking to learn a second language either to communicate with a new client base or to attain higher status within a corporate setting.
Most Americans learn a second language in adulthood. Many public schools do not begin teaching second languages until high school, and all college students must study a foreign language in order to graduate from the university. Another population within the United States that is learning a second language are those immigrating from other countries, particularly Mexico. Most of these immigrants who are learning are adults, their children will not have to deal with learning a second language because they will most likely learn two languages, English and Spanish.
For the purposes of this paper, I have defined adulthood as including any person who is at or above the age of eighteen, because there is so little research on language learning in early adulthood versus middle or late adulthood. It is not possible to find studies about particular divisions of adulthood that have been verified by subsequent research trials, so I have included research about all ages of adulthood. Throughout this paper, I will discuss the major aspects of the body of research literature that separates adult second language learning from that of natural bilingual persons, including full immersion into the language, biological and neurological factors, the structure of both the native and second languages, age of acqui...

... middle of paper ...

.... Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception And Performance, 34(5), 1305-1316. doi:10.1037/0096-1523.34.5.1305
Lemhöfer, Kristin, Dijkstra, Ton, Schriefers, Herbert, Baayen, R. Harald, Grainger, Jonathan, & Zwitserlood, Pienie. (2008). Native language influences on word recognition in a second language: A megastudy. Journal Of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, And Cognition, 34(1), 12-31. doi:10.1037/0278-7393.34.1.12
Cunillera, Toni, Càmara, Estela, Laine, Matti, & Rodríguez-Fornells, Antoni. (2010). Words as anchors: Known words facilitate statistical learning. Experimental Psychology, 57(2), 134-141. doi:10.1027/1618-3169/a000017
Abrahamsson, Niclas, & Hyltenstam, Kenneth. (2008). The robustness of aptitude effects in near-native second language acquisition. Studies In Second Language Acquisition, 30(4), 481-509. doi:10.1017/S027226310808073X

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Language, Language And Language Development

- Language plays an important in our lives, for children this is a critical time for them to learn how they can use language to communicate effectively from the when they learn through school and into adulthood. While a child goes through school they are exposed to Standard English, but there are diversities that appear in the classroom for example culture plays a part in language development. Gee and Hayes (2011) stated that there are many things that language can be including; a set of rules, a cognitive experience, a social tool or an object, but overall language is something that changed based on culture and social context....   [tags: Linguistics, Language, Natural language]

Research Papers
1765 words (5 pages)

Benefits Of Learning A New Language Essay example

- The benefits of learning a new language Learning a second language takes a lot of effort and time. But once you do, it brings many benefits and opportunities for you. Some researchers have shown that is easier for children to learn a second language (SHERRILL, 2014). However, it does not mean that adults can’t learn it. On the contrary, there are many adults who start learning a new language during adulthood. The first benefit is that you will have better jobs prospective. Companies are looking for qualified employees, and people who can speak another language are one step ahead from those people who can’t speak another language....   [tags: Second language, Multilingualism, Linguistics]

Research Papers
718 words (2.1 pages)

How Language Deficiency Relates to Antisocial Behavior Essay

- Stuttering and the mispronunciation of words are two common types of language deficiencies. Being unable to speak properly could have numerous effects on a person in society, which could lead to antisocial behavior. If a person becomes antisocial, they lack what it takes to coexist with society in an acceptable manner. The person with this behavior usually affects society in a negative way. Speech is the sound that comes out of our mouth and language is a measure of intelligence. When a person has a problem with either it is called a language disorder....   [tags: Language ]

Research Papers
939 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Language Switching

- As an English native speaker, I embarked on learning a second language from an early age. Due to the fact I lived in an area with a lot of Spanish-speakers, I found it relevant to my lifestyle to learn Spanish. However, I can easily make it around every day without using my second language. However, there are borders that defy that statement. There are Spanish communities in the Northeastern province of Spain where Catalan is spoken along with Spanish. Psychologists have often question the effects of bilingualism on the brain, but have “often lacked information regarding the age of acquisition, the degree of proficiency and the degrees of exposure to a given language of the tested sample” (G...   [tags: Language]

Research Papers
1476 words (4.2 pages)

Old Dogs and New Tricks: What About a Second Language? Essay

- The topic of a critical period for language learning is a hotbed of discussion; there is substantial evidence to support the idea that certain elements of language are “easier” (or even critical) for people to learn and master at younger ages, such as syntax and phonology, but the debate rages on as to whether this is evidence of a critical period of overall language learning, and whether the critical period applies to the learning of a second language (Newport, 2002). The implications of such research and assertions are vast: not only for parents of young children, who may want to provide every advantage to their children, but also for young adults and the elderly....   [tags: Language ]

Research Papers
898 words (2.6 pages)

Autism : A Transition Into Adulthood Essay

- Autism: A Transition into Adulthood Sarah Plummer Grand Valley State University Autism: A Transition into Adulthood For all teens, the transition into adulthood is generally seen as a challenging and scary process. For teens diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as well as their caregivers, this transition is often more complicated. The period of transition for individuals with ASD into adulthood is intensely more challenging due to their “unique characteristics, the lack of services that address the special needs of such individuals in adulthood, and the expectations of society for a typical path to adulthood in the face of atypical problems” (Geller and Greenbe...   [tags: Autism, Autism spectrum, Asperger syndrome]

Research Papers
1203 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Explore the Effect of a Critical Period on Second Language Acquisition

- Critical Period Hypothesis: Critical Period (CP) refers to a specific and ‘fixed’ or invariant period of time during which an organism’s neural functioning is open to effects of external experiential input. To be specific, there are three important essentials in this conception. Firstly, this developmental period is biologically determined; the onset, end and the length of the critical period are invariant, which is the consequences of some internal clock that keeps time independent of what happens during the window of time....   [tags: Second Language Acquisition]

Research Papers
2938 words (8.4 pages)

Perspectives of Learning and Teaching in Piaget's and Vygotsky's Theories

- The Venn diagram is comparing the similarities and differences of two theories Piaget’s and Vygotsky Theories on Cognitive development. Piaget’s difference to Vygotsky is children collaborating with peers of the classroom, having stages of development that impact child development over birth to adulthood and how inherited characteristics of being a confident or quiet child. Vygotsky Theory is about Zone of Proximal development, scaffolding of adults helping children in understanding and gaining knowledge and sociocultural development (Duchesne, McMaugh, Bochner & Krause (2013)....   [tags: venn diagram, teaching and learning]

Research Papers
1513 words (4.3 pages)

The Critical Period Hypothesis of Language Acquisition Essay

- The Critical Period Hypothesis of Language Acquisition "Ahhhhh!" I yell in frustration. "I've been studying Spanish for seven years, and I still can't speak it fluently." "Well, honey, it's not your fault. You didn't start young enough," my mom says, trying to comfort me. Although she doesn't know it, she is basing her statement on the Critical Period Hypothesis. The Critical Period Hypothesis proposes that the human brain is only malleable, in terms of language, for a limited time. This can be compared to the critical period referred to in to the imprinting seen in some species, such as geese....   [tags: Neurological Languages Learning Essays]

Research Papers
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Learning Disabilities

- Learning Disabilities      When a child doesn’t seem to be learning, some teachers and parents in his/her life might criticize the child and think of them as stupid, or maybe just too lazy to want to learn. What they don’t realize is that the child might have a learning disability. But how are these children being helped. There are many programs, special schools and facilities, home teaching methods and many other ways in which children with Learning Disabilities are being helped. There are many different types of learning disabilities; the most common ones are dyslexia and attention deficit disorder....   [tags: Disability children Learn Education Essays]

Research Papers
1295 words (3.7 pages)