The Reading / Listening - Language Learning - Level 5

New research suggests that to achieve native-like proficiency in a new language, people should start learning before the age of ten. Researchers said children up to the age of 18 remain skilled at learning grammar. Unfortunately, those who want to pick up a new language beyond their late teens are past the "critical period" when language-learning ability starts to decline. A researcher said: "As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easy to become bilingual....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can make up later."



The research was based on the results of 670,000 people taking a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different points in their life. The test had grammar rules that were likely to confuse non-native speakers. These measured a person's proficiency. Another researcher suggested older people might be too busy to learn a language. He said after 17 or 18, people leave home, go to university or start work. All of these could affect how well someone learns a language.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Language Learning - Level 4 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. achieve native-
  2. pick up a
  3. beyond their late
  4. past the critical
  5. language-learning ability
  6. it's quite easy to become
  7. That's when you're best
  8. something that you can make
  1. at learning languages
  2. like proficiency
  3. bilingual
  4. teens
  5. up later
  6. period
  7. starts to decline
  8. new language

Paragraph 2

  1. The research was based
  2. a 10-minute online
  3. grammatical
  4. at different points
  5. rules that were likely to confuse
  6. These measured a
  7. people might
  8. how well someone
  1. non-native speakers
  2. in their life
  3. learns a language
  4. grammar quiz
  5. be too busy
  6. on the results
  7. person's proficiency
  8. ability

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

New research suggests (1) ___________________ native-like proficiency in a new language, people should start learning before the age of ten. Researchers said children up to the age of 18 (2) ___________________ learning grammar. Unfortunately, those who want (3) ___________________ a new language beyond their late teens are past (4) ___________________ when language-learning ability (5) ___________________. A researcher said: "As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easy to become bilingual....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can (6) ___________________."

The research was based on (7) ___________________ 670,000 people taking a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language (8) ___________________ in their life. The test had grammar rules that were (9) ___________________ non-native speakers. These measured a person's proficiency. Another researcher (10) ___________________ might be too busy to learn a language. He said after 17 or 18, (11) ___________________, go to university or start work. All of these (12) ___________________ well someone learns a language.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Newresearchsuggeststhattoachievenative-likeproficiencyinanewla
nguage,peopleshouldstartlearningbeforetheageoften.Researcherss
aidchildrenuptotheageof18remainskilledatlearninggrammar.Unfort
unately,thosewhowanttopickupanewlanguagebeyondtheirlateteen
sarepastthe"criticalperiod"whenlanguage-learningabilitystartstode
cline.Aresearchersaid:"Asfarasachildisconcerned,it'squiteeasytobe
comebilingual....That'swhenyou'rebestatlearninglanguages.It'snot
reallysomethingthatyoucanmakeuplater."Theresearchwasbasedon
theresultsof670,000peopletakinga10-minuteonlinegrammarquiz.R
esearchersmeasuredthegrammaticalabilityofpeoplewhostartedlear
ningalanguageatdifferentpointsintheirlife.Thetesthadgrammarrules
thatwerelikelytoconfusenon-nativespeakers.Thesemeasuredaper
son'sproficiency.Anotherresearchersuggestedolderpeoplemightbet
oobusytolearnalanguage.Hesaidafter17or18,peopleleavehome,got
ouniversityorstartwork.Allofthesecouldaffecthowwellsomeonelearn
salanguage.

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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