Did you know that speaking multiple languages is linked to a lowered rate of cognitive decline?
That’s aside from the obvious communication and economic advantages which are had in those who speak multiple languages.
But what’s the best age to learn a language?
Read on and we’ll teach you how some of the myths surrounding the best age to learn a language.
The Best Age to Learn a Language
The best age for children to start learning languages in addition to their mother tongue has been debated for some time.
The truth is there are a lot of myths out there which have prevented kids from taking full advantage of their early brain power. One of these is that learning a second language before a child has a full grasp of their mother tongue is bad for their development.
Instead, research has increasingly found that it really is a case of the earlier the better. Most experts recommend that a child begin to learn their second language before the age of 10 for the best long term results.
What About in Adolescence?
Children take in an incredible amount of information as they’re growing up. Some researchers have put the upper limit for gaining true native proficiency at the onset of puberty.
Of course, it’s no loss for someone to continue trying to learn a new language. Up until the age of 17 years old, it’s possible to gain fluency in a language. The earlier in this time period someone begins to learn, the higher their chances of obtaining fluency in the chosen language.
Myths About Early Starts
Research is increasingly pointing to the early introduction of languages being key to long term fluency.
While there are cases where children have had trouble becoming a native level speaker in two languages, it’s usually through the introduction of the second language before the child has gained a handle on their first language.
Keep in mind that doesn’t mean mastery, just the ability to grasp grammatical structures and syntax.
Even types of speech which seem to be problematic, such as code-switching, often don’t indicate that a child is having trouble with their bilingualism.
What About Adults?
Becoming a “native” speaker after the age of 18 is rare. The brain simply doesn’t take well to picking up new languages after a certain age.
You’ll still get the usual benefits of just working your brain out. Most people can reach a conversational level within a few years, even with notoriously hard languages.
For legalese and other business communication problems, you can always use services like Multiling Translation Company, which is certainly easier than picking up a new language.
Start Early, But Don’t Give Up
It can be a bit discouraging to actually find out the best age to learn a language is so young. That shouldn’t put you off, however, whether it’s you or your child planning on learning.
The truth is, however, that under the right guidance the best age to start is much younger than most of us recently assumed.
It’s never too late to stretch that brain. Can we offer you some more education?