Adults can be retrained to learn second languages more easily, says UCL scientist
June 15, 2005
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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.