It is commonly believed that children are able to pick up languages much more easily than adults – sometimes this even prevents adults from trying to learn a foreign language when they are older, as they believe they have missed the window of opportunity.
However, researchers have shown that adults are better than young children at picking up a new language, if they are correctly taught (Ferman and Karni). Under controlled conditions groups of 8-year-olds, 12-year-olds and adults were given the chance to learn a new language rule which the researchers had made up. On measuring 2 months later the researchers found that the adult language learners remembered it best, followed by 12-year-olds and that the 8 year-olds fared worst. The key was that the adults were best at working out the way the new language rule worked, which helped them remember it.
For adults who are thinking of learning a language, this research should bolster your confidence. Learning the key grammar points of a language gives you the framework on which you are able to build. As an adult learner, you have a superior ability to process these rules, and therefore age is no barrier to learning a language.
With la Academia’s experienced and knowledgeable tutors and our structured approach on your side, you’ll soon be chatting confidently in your new language – here in Manchester, and when you travel. Whether it’s French for fun, Spanish for holidays or Chinese for business, don’t be shy, give us a ring and start learning a new language today!