Will.Whim

A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

Adults can be retrained to learn second languages more easily, says UCL scientist

Adults can be retrained to learn second languages more easily, says UCL scientist (via Mirabilis.ca). This looks encouraging; still, it’s a small study–the study showed that a study of 63 Japanese ESL students were able to increase their perception of the r/l distinction in English by 18% after 10 sessions. Still, the r/l distinction is notoriously difficult (even native speakers of English end up going for ‘speech therapy’ to learn how to produce the r/l distinction). The researchers were trying to show plasticity in the brain’s ability in speech perception; of course, learning a second language is much, much more than sound production and recognition.

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