Four facts about learning a foreign language
When studying many groups of foreign language learners at more than 50 schools around the world, Education First discovered wrong views and perceptions.
1. An effective way to start learning your language is to immerse yourself in the local environment
Those who have never learned a foreign language before will improve more in the first week of studying abroad than other groups of students. Immersion in a foreign language environment may seem intimidating for those who do not know anything, just starting to learn, but actually this view is not true for most people.
Survey data shows that new language learners studying abroad will be strongly motivated regardless of their age. Therefore, parents can be more secure instead of worrying that their children do not have enough language knowledge when they are away from home. This is also good news for older people because they often feel they have missed the opportunity because they did not learn a foreign language earlier.
2. Young people in their 20s can learn languages quickly
Students in their 20s learn foreign languages in their native environment faster than people in their other years, probably because this is the age where they have good study skills and mastery of grammar. Besides, when people are 20 years old, people are often motivated to learn foreign languages to serve for learning or career dreams. Fluent speaking a foreign language, especially English, is a valuable asset in the learning process and has also been shown to increase income in the job.
However, the difference in learning speed between ages is much less than what people often think. Research shows that skills will develop at almost the same rate from the late teens to adulthood. Interestingly, new language learners aged 50-80 also have good growth. Therefore, even if you start learning a foreign language when you are not young, you should study in a country where the language is the mother tongue. This can improve your skills until you retire.
3. Men and women have the same speed of learning a foreign language
Numerous studies have found gender differences in foreign language proficiency. Accordingly, women are more proficient and more motivated to learn a foreign language. However, when looking at specific cases in the native environment, there is no overall difference in the rate of learning between men and women.
The data also shows that male learners tend to have a longer term learning experience, so they are slightly better overall. This will encourage parents with daughters to invest their children in longer courses to ensure they can make the most of their overseas study experience and improve their language skills.
4. Good command of the second language will help to improve the third language
The pace of learning depends on the individual, but survey data shows that people from countries who speak two or more languages in the education system will learn faster than learners from countries that use them only. one language. That means that someone who is fluent in two languages will be easier to learn a third language because the brain is ready to learn and use another language.
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