The Reading / Listening - Language Learning - Level 4

A study suggests that it is best to start learning a language before the age of ten. Researchers said the ability to learn grammar well is present up until the age of 18. This is the limit of the "critical period" when language-learning ability starts to decline. A researcher said children quite easily become bilingual because, "that's when you're best at learning languages". He said it's difficult to become truly bilingual later in life.



The research was based on 670,000 online grammar quizzes. The tests had grammar rules designed to confuse non-native speakers. These helped to measure the language ability of people who started learning a language at different ages. One researcher suggested older people might be too busy to learn a language because they leave home, go to university or start work. All of these affect language-learning ability.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Language Learning - Level 5 or  Language Learning - Level 6

Sources
  • http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning-the-language/2018/05/critical_period_for_learning_l.html?cmp=RSS-FEED
  • http://www.euronews.com/2018/05/01/-critical-period-for-learning-new-language-says-study
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6190032/kids-aged-ten-can-learn-languages-fluently/


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. start learning a language
  2. the ability to learn grammar
  3. This is the limit of the
  4. language-learning ability starts
  5. children quite easily
  6. that's when you're best
  7. it's difficult to become truly
  8. later in
  1. become bilingual
  2. bilingual
  3. before the age of ten
  4. life
  5. critical period
  6. to decline
  7. well
  8. at learning languages

Paragraph 2

  1. based on 670,000 online
  2. The tests had grammar
  3. designed to
  4. non-
  5. at different
  6. older people might be
  7. go to university
  8. All of these affect language-
  1. too busy
  2. confuse
  3. ages
  4. rules
  5. or start work
  6. native speakers
  7. learning ability
  8. grammar quizzes

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A study suggests (1) ___________________ best to start learning a language before (2) ___________________ ten. Researchers said the ability to learn grammar well is present up until the age of 18. This is (3) ___________________ the "critical period" when language-learning ability (4) ___________________. A researcher said children quite easily become bilingual because, "that's when (5) ___________________ learning languages". He said it's difficult to become (6) ___________________ in life.

The research (7) ___________________ 670,000 online grammar quizzes. The tests had grammar rules designed (8) ___________________ speakers. These helped (9) ___________________ language ability of people who started learning a language (10) ___________________. One researcher suggested older people might be too (11) ___________________ a language because they leave home, go to university or start work. All (12) ___________________ language-learning ability.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Astudysuggeststhatitisbesttostartlearningalanguagebeforetheageo
ften.Researcherssaidtheabilitytolearngrammarwellispresentupuntil
theageof18.Thisisthelimitofthe"criticalperiod"whenlanguage-learni
ngabilitystartstodecline.Aresearchersaidchildrenquiteeasilybecome
bilingualbecause,"that'swhenyou'rebestatlearninglanguages".Hesa
idit'sdifficulttobecometrulybilinguallaterinlife.Theresearchwasbase
don670,000onlinegrammarquizzes.Thetestshadgrammarrulesdesi
gnedtoconfusenon-nativespeakers.Thesehelpedtomeasurethela
nguageabilityofpeoplewhostartedlearningalanguageatdifferentage
s.Oneresearchersuggestedolderpeoplemightbetoobusytolearnalan
guagebecausetheyleavehome,gotouniversityorstartwork.Allofthes
eaffectlanguage-learningability.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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