Birth-Kindergarten: Critical Years for Language Acquisition
Our ability to effortlessly absorb any new language begins to decline by age six. Recent publications from Cambridge University Press findings reveal "the procedural memory for language gradually decreases after about age 5."
The latest research coming from world renowned researcher Patricia Kuhl, Ph.D., Co-director of The Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, finds that babies and young children learn language better than adults do. Her research has led to the surge in popularity of language schools for babies and toddlers.
The Brain of Bilingual Children
Researchers from University College London found that those who learned a foreign language at an early age later developed more advanced areas of gray matter - the area of the brain that processes information. Similar to the way exercise builds muscle, foreign language exercises the brain.
Lifelong Advantages of Bilingual Children
*More easily learn additional languages
*Score higher in Math, Verbal, Social Studies, IQ tests and SATs
*Have higher self-esteem
*Enjoy better marketability in the academic and professional world
*Exhibit more creativity
*Show reduced signs of mental decline as they age
Read more here about significant research revealing the advantages of early childhood bilingualism.
Al-Azami, S., Kenner, C., Ruby, M. and Gregory, E. (2010) Transliteration as a bridge to learning for bilingual children. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 13 (2), 683-700.
King, Kendall A., and Alison Mackey. The Bilingual Edge: Why, When, and How to Teach Your Child a Second Language. New York: Collins, 2007.
Mahoney, Nicole. "Language Learning." National Science Foundation. Web. 12 July 2008.
Nikolov, Marianne, and Jelena M. Djigunovic. "RECENT RESEARCH ON AGE, SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION, AND EARLY FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING." Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26 (2006): 234-60.