is it easier for baby to learn new language


With the well-development of our society, people prefer to travel all around the world, and begin their career not only in their own country, but also overseas. However, according to BBC, there are 7000 different languages in the world, and, even only for main languages, there are still ten languages need to be apprehended. When we want to live or start business in other countries, language is first thing need to be considered. But some scientists discover an interesting phenomenon that it seems like new language is easier for baby to pick up than adult. Studying this strange question, scientists propose some researches and experimental data to explain. Back to class material, there are three relationships of this topic. The direct causality is that easier for younger age baby to learn language, the reverse causality is that language is easier for younger age baby, and third variable is organization of brain related to both of them.

According to Sharon Perkins , studioD’s study  ( link at the end of blog ), young people are hard wired to learn new language in the first several years of life. When they born, if they are frequently taught two languages, baby will memory and acquire these languages unconsciously ( native language ). On the contrary, adult and older children consciously study language. Dr. Paul Thompson at UCLA states that people’s center of brains whose age is above 11 will stop grow. Comparing to infants, adults’ unconscious language learning skills won’t growth rapidly anymore. If adults want to acquire new language, they only can depend on their studying skills to memory grammar and pronunciation rather than deep motor area of the brains.


In addition, the definitions of comprehend language are different. I mean only have ability to speak new language can be known as comprehension, can both write and speak new language also make sense, and understanding new language like linguists is another view of comprehension. Baby don’t need to learn some confusing grammars or abstract meanings of sentences like adult, and they just need to speak some simple sentences and grammars. Obviously, the language learned by adult and baby have different level, and it’s acceptable that adult normally pay more time and energy to acquire new language. In other perspective, there are much more time available for baby to be familiar with their native language. In general, adults are required to work in most of times, and they can’t approach new language they learned during working. Fortunately, language can be studied and be exposed to baby all day, and their whole time are filled with locale. With the time goes by, baby can acquire second language better than adult.

What’s more, language is different from other subjects, because learner can’t discover some new things during learning like math. While mathematician try to explore new knowledge, they don’t need to keep communicating with others all the time. They are supposed to self-work, and do calculation on computer. Compared to math subject, the most effective way to improve language skill is communicating with native speaker. One thing should be noticed that baby don’t fear to make mistakes or mispronounce word when they are communicating. It’s not hard to hypothesis that if an adult often pronounces words wrong, he will be shy and he will be afraid of communicating with others in the future. According to a article ( link at the end ), positive feedback is extremely influential for people’s confidence and passion. If negative feedback gotten by adult during his daily communication in most time, his heart will unconsciously refuse this language, even give up studying. Nevertheless, I believe no one will mock baby for his language mistakes. Conversely, baby’s parents would like to encourage his baby for tiny achievement. Scientists holds the view that positive feedback can stimulate baby’s learning desire dramatically, and that’s why baby can easier grasp new language.c2

In conclusion, baby under 11 years old do have genetic superiority than adult. When adults plan to learn new language, their brain are much more complex than baby. For example, adult try to combine his native language to new language unconscious, but, in fact, this action will make brain more confusing and create negative impact on learning new language. In other perspective, excluding genetic influence, adult have some positive prerequisites than baby. From now on, there are still have no enough evidence to proof baby in studying language field is more clever than adults. If we hypothesis that providing adult same learning situation to baby, it’s hard to predict who can comprehend a new language more rapid and easier.

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5 thoughts on “is it easier for baby to learn new language

  1. Jillian Nicole Beitter

    This article caught my eye right away! I’m currently struggling to get through Spanish 3. Although I’ve taken Spanish for 6 YEARS, I still can not manage to fully grasp the language. I find it so hard for my mind to comprehend Spanish. I have always heard though that kids growing up in a bilingual household can grasp both languages much easier. That leads me to question why schools do not teach students two languages in younger grades. Here is an article that explains why schools should introduce languages to kids at the age of 3. Learning a language other than the native speaking language will allow you to have more respect for other languages. It will also open you to communicate with others of different languages. That being said, it can also benefit you when it comes to getting a job. Being able to speak more than one language can be the one reason you get a job over another person.

  2. Olivia Anne Browne

    Great post. Something Im sure all of us have questioned before. I have small cousins who are learning several languages at once and they amaze me. To them its so simple so this post is really relatable for me. I always wondered how he was so intelligent at a young age but it makes sense after reading this. They have a greater ability to retain loads of information which I find intriguing !
    check out this article on children and foreign language.

  3. Pedro de Mello

    I really like this topic. Information retention is something quite tricky to analyse because it doesn’t happen in just one area of the brain, it’s instead a brain-wide activity. Because babies and infants have more elastic (i.e. flexible) brains, their activity is much more rapid and interconnected, making it easier for them to retain information. I’m fascinated by infant learning, I think it has a lot of potential for research and how to improve adult brain activity in the future.

    1. Hannah Margaret Mears

      I am really glad that someone decided to post about this topic because I have always wished that I would have learned a second language at a young age. I did not start learning a foreign language until I was in 9th grade and that hurt my learning abilities of that language drastically. In college, this new language learning becomes even more difficult. So, my question is, should school curriculums be changed to teach children a new language at a young age? I hypothesize that this would increase the amount of bilingual speakers in our country drastically. If our brains in fact stop growing at the age of 11, it should be essential that children are pretty much fluent in two languages by this time. This will help later in life with job opportunity and academic performance because they will already be a step ahead of someone who only speaks one language. With job fields becoming so competitive these days it would do nothing but benefit a potential job candidate to speak more than one language. This site showed facts done in recent surveys that prove why learning more than one language is beneficial in the career field.

      1. Lucas Thomas Hansen

        I am currently taking a psychology course and one main topic is about early involvement in learning a new language. Many studies found that learning a new language is the easiest at around age 3 and it is picked up much quicker and fluently than adults. Since the brain is developing rapidly after age three, it is crucial to learn a language in this time period. For example, I have a good friend that moved to my home town from Holland when he was seven years old and was able to speak English fluently with no accent within six months. This article shows a study done by Harvard University about more benefits and reasons why learning a language at a young age is important.

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