Event Title

Developmental Milestones' Relationship to Second Language Learning

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of World Languages and Cultures

Honors Thesis Committee

Thesis Committee: Valerie Jepson, Ph.D.; Cheryl Fortner-Wood, Ph.D.; and Kelly Costner, Ph.D.

Location

DIGS 222

Start Date

20-4-2018 1:30 PM

Description

The purpose of this research is to discuss the relationship of cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, and social-emotional milestones with their collective facilitation of second language learning (L2L) for various age ranges. While it is generally agreed that learning two languages from birth is the most efficient way to attain equal competency in both languages, most children are not raised bilingually. Therefore, this research describes the capability of young children to recognize and produce the preferred speech accent for languages that are not native to them. By contrast, post-pubescent teenagers and adults usually have a more difficult time hearing and repeating various non-native speech sounds. Their main advantage is their complete, or mostly complete, cognitive development, which helps them to process and learn the language’s syntax more quickly, at least for initial learning. From the conclusions drawn about the milestones’ facilitation of L2L, benefits and drawbacks of L2L during each age group are explained, and optimal teaching methods for each age are proposed. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of an immersion environment are discussed for L2L, as compared to the traditional learning environment. The overall conclusion for L2L is that, while each age group has different strengths and weaknesses, as does each child, students of any age can learn a second language.

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Apr 20th, 1:30 PM

Developmental Milestones' Relationship to Second Language Learning

DIGS 222

The purpose of this research is to discuss the relationship of cognitive, linguistic, perceptual, and social-emotional milestones with their collective facilitation of second language learning (L2L) for various age ranges. While it is generally agreed that learning two languages from birth is the most efficient way to attain equal competency in both languages, most children are not raised bilingually. Therefore, this research describes the capability of young children to recognize and produce the preferred speech accent for languages that are not native to them. By contrast, post-pubescent teenagers and adults usually have a more difficult time hearing and repeating various non-native speech sounds. Their main advantage is their complete, or mostly complete, cognitive development, which helps them to process and learn the language’s syntax more quickly, at least for initial learning. From the conclusions drawn about the milestones’ facilitation of L2L, benefits and drawbacks of L2L during each age group are explained, and optimal teaching methods for each age are proposed. In addition, the strengths and weaknesses of an immersion environment are discussed for L2L, as compared to the traditional learning environment. The overall conclusion for L2L is that, while each age group has different strengths and weaknesses, as does each child, students of any age can learn a second language.