The Reading / Listening - Language Learning - Level 6

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that if people want to achieve native-like proficiency in a new language, they should start learning that language before the age of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain adept at learning grammar. There is bad news for those who want to pick up a new language beyond their late teens. The researchers say this is past the "critical period" when language-learning ability starts to decline. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne 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 an analysis of results from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over 670,000 language learners of all ages participated in the test. Researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different points in their life. Professor Hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a non-native speaker as a gauge of that person's proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people simply might be too busy to learn a language later in life. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these might impact your learning rate for any language."

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Language Learning - Level 4  or  Language Learning - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. LANGUAGE LEARNING: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about language learning. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       research / achieve / native-like proficiency / language / grammar / critical / bilingual /
       analysis / online quiz / life / native speaker / too busy / work full time / university
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. BILINGUAL: Students A strongly believe all countries should have a policy to start bilingualism in children from the age of four; Students B strongly believe this isn't necessary.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. ENGLISH: What is the best way to learn English? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

The best way to learn

Why?

Grammar

 

 

Pronunciation

 

 

Spelling

 

 

Writing

 

 

Speaking

 

 

Vocabulary

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. NATIVE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "native". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. LANGUAGE: Rank these with your partner. Put the biggest reasons for learning a language at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • to pass exams
  • to read
  • to live overseas
  • as a hobby
  • speak to foreigners
  • job prospects
  • intellectual stimulation
  • to watch movies

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. proficiency a. Very skilled at something.
      2. adept b. Having a decisive or great importance in the success, failure, or existence of something.
      3. pick up c. The ages of 17-19.
      4. late teens d. Learn something, usually by doing it or by being exposed to it.
      5. critical e. A high degree of competence or skill; expertise.
      6. decline f. A person being able to speak two languages fluently.
      7. bilingual g. Go down in strength or quality.

    Paragraph 2

      8. analysis h. The effect or influence of one person, thing, or action, on another.
      9. participated i. A detailed examination of the elements or structure of something.
      10. confuse j. Estimate or determine the magnitude, amount, or volume of.
      11. non-native k. A measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure.
      12. gauge l. Cause someone to be puzzled.
      13. impact m. A language speaker not having spoken the language in question from earliest childhood.
      14. rate n. Joined in with or took part in something.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. The research came from an institute of linguistics.     T / F
  2. The researchers said people aren't adept at learning grammar after 10.   T / F
  3. Language-learning ability declines after we reach late teens.     T / F
  4. Researchers said it's not easy for children to become bilingual.     T / F
  5. Over half-a-million people took an online grammar quiz.     T / F
  6. Quiz questions were designed to confuse non-native speakers.     T / F
  7. A researcher said adults are never too busy to learn a language.     T / F
  8. Leaving home at 18 might affect your language-learning rate.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. achieve
  2. adept
  3. beyond
  4. critical
  5. decline
  6. analysis
  7. points
  8. gauge
  9. impact
  10. rate
  1. diminish
  2. speed
  3. examination
  4. skilled
  5. measure
  6. affect
  7. attain
  8. times
  9. after
  10. vital

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. if people want to achieve native-
  2. remain adept
  3. past the critical
  4. As far as a
  5. It's not really something that you
  6. The research was based on an analysis
  7. Over 670,000 language learners
  8. at different points
  9. most likely to confuse a
  10. impact your learning
  1. of results
  2. can make up later
  3. in their life
  4. like proficiency
  5. of all ages
  6. period
  7. non-native speaker
  8. child is concerned
  9. rate
  10. at learning grammar

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
news
far
later
proficiency
suggests
bilingual
adept
critical

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (1) ____________ that if people want to achieve native-like (2) ____________ in a new language, they should start learning that language before the age of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain (3) ____________ at learning grammar. There is bad (4) ____________ for those who want to pick up a new language beyond their late teens. The researchers say this is past the "(5) ____________ period" when language-learning ability starts to decline. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne said: "As (6) ____________ as a child is concerned, it's quite easy to become (7) ____________....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can make up (8) ____________."

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
simply
ages
points
impact
life
analysis
confuse
measured

The research was based on an (9) ____________ of results from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over 670,000 language learners of all (10) ____________ participated in the test. Researchers (11) ____________ the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different (12) ____________ in their life. Professor Hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to (13) ____________ a non-native speaker as a gauge of that person's proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people (14) ____________ might be too busy to learn a language later in (15) ____________. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these might (16) ____________ your learning rate for any language."

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1) MIT suggests that if people want to achieve ______ proficiency...
     a.  nativity-like
     b.  native-liked
     c.  native-like
     d.  native-likes
2)  researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain ______
     a.  adapt at learning
     b.  a deft at learning
     c.  aid deft at learning
     d.  adept at learning
3)  The researchers say this is past ______
     a.  the critical period
     b.  the critically period
     c.  the critique all period
     d.  the critic all period
4)  As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easy to ______
     a.  became bilingual
     b.  become bilinguals
     c.  become bilingual
     d.  become bilingually
5)  It's not really something that you can ______
     a.  make down later
     b.  make up later
     c.  make that later
     d.  make it later

6)  The research was based on an analysis of results from a 10-minute ______
     a.  online grammar quiz
     b.  offline grammar quiz
     c.  inline grammar quiz
     d.  hardline grammar quiz
7)  Over 670,000 language learners of all ages participated ______
     a.  in the test
     b.  on the test
     c.  in a test
     d.  on a test
8)  the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different ______
     a.  points on their life
     b.  points in their life
     c.  points in their live
     d.  point sin their life
9)  most likely to confuse a non-native speaker as ______ that person's proficiency
     a.  a gouge of
     b.  a gauge of
     c.  a gage of
     d.  a gorge of
10)  All of these might impact your ______
     a.  learn in rate
     b.  learning ratio
     c.  learn in ratio
     d.  learning rate

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that if people (1) ___________________ native-like proficiency in a new language, they should start learning that language before the age of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 (2) ___________________ learning grammar. There is bad news for those who want to pick up a new language beyond (3) ___________________. The researchers say this is past the "critical period" when language-learning ability (4) ___________________. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne said: "As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easy (5) ___________________....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can (6) ___________________."

The research was based on an (7) ___________________ from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over 670,000 language learners of all ages (8) ___________________ test. Researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language (9) ___________________ in their life. Professor Hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a non-native speaker (10) ___________________ of that person's proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people simply might be too busy to learn a language (11) ___________________. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these (12) ___________________ learning rate for any language."

Comprehension questions

  1. What is the abbreviation of the university that conducted the research?
  2. Until what age do children remain adept at learning grammar?
  3. What kind of news did the researchers have for adults?
  4. What kind of point did researchers describe?
  5. For whom did researchers say it was easy to become bilingual?
  6. How long was the grammar quiz that people took?
  7. How many people took a grammar quiz?
  8. What did the article say was likely to confuse non-native speakers?
  9. What reason did a researcher give for adults not learning a language?
  10. What might leaving home or starting work impact?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What is the abbreviation of the university that conducted the research?
a) MTI
b) TIM
c) MIT
d) IMT
2) Until what age do children remain adept at learning grammar?
a) 17 or 18
b) 14 or 15
c) 11 or 12
d) 4 or 5
3) What kind of news did the researchers have for adults?
a) interesting news
b) breaking news
c) great news
d) bad news
4) What kind of point did researchers describe?
a) a turning point
b) a critical point
c) a cash point
d) a breaking point
5) For whom did researchers say it was easy to become bilingual?
a) young adults
b) teens
c) children
d) language learners

6) How long was the grammar quiz that people took?
a) 20 minutes
b) 10 minutes
c) 15 minutes
d) 12 minutes
7) How many people took a grammar quiz?
a) exactly 670,000
b) just fewer than 670,000
c) around 670,000
d) more than 670,000
8) What did the article say was likely to confuse non-native speakers?
a) slang
b) grammar rules
c) English
d) prepositions
9) What reason did a researcher give for adults not learning a language?
a) they are too busy
b) they lack desire
c) learning vocabulary is difficult
d) it's too expensive
10) What might leaving home or starting work impact?
a) mental well-being
b) study time
c) what language a person learns
d) language-learning rate

Role play

Role  A – Speaking to Foreigners
You think speaking to foreigners is the best reason to learn a language. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their reasons. Also, tell the others which is the worst reason of these (and why): watching movies, reading or living overseas.

Role  B – Watching Movies
You think watching movies is the best reason to learn a language. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their reasons. Also, tell the others which is the worst reason of these (and why): speaking to foreigners, reading or living overseas.

Role  C – Reading
You think reading is the best reason to learn a language. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their reasons. Also, tell the others which is the worst reason of these (and why): watching movies, speaking to foreigners or living overseas.

Role  D – To Live Overseas
You think living overseas is the best reason to learn a language. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their reasons. Also, tell the others which is the worst reason of these (and why):  watching movies, reading or speaking to foreigners.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'language'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'learning'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • based
    • ages
    • points
    • gauge
    • busy
    • rate
    • achieve
    • age
    • adept
    • late
    • far
    • later




    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 - Best to learn a new language before age of 10

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'language'?
    3. What kind of language learner are you?
    4. Would life be different if you spoke English fluently?
    5. What do you think of language lessons in kindergartens?
    6. What new language would you like to learn?
    7. What is the best way to learn a language?
    8. Why is it harder for older people to learn a language?
    9. What are the benefits of being multilingual?
    10. How difficult is your language to learn?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'learning'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How happy are you with your level of English?
    5. How useful are/were your English lessons?
    6. How important is grammar?
    7. What is the most important language skill?
    8. What makes the perfect language lesson?
    9. What kind of language teacher is the perfect teacher?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the researchers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that if people want to achieve native-(1) ____ proficiency in a new language, they should start learning that language before the age of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain (2) ____ at learning grammar. There is bad news for those who want to pick (3) ____ a new language beyond their late teens. The researchers say this is past the "(4) ____ period" when language-learning ability starts to decline. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne said: "As far as a child is (5) ____, 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) ____ up later."

    The research was based (7) ____ an analysis of results from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over 670,000 language learners of all (8) ____ participated in the test. Researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different (9) ____ in their life. Professor Hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a non-native speaker as a (10) ____ of that person's proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people (11) ____ might be too busy to learn a language later in life. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these might impact your learning rate for (12) ____ language."

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     liking     (b)     likes     (c)     like     (d)     liked    
    2. (a)     adept     (b)     adapt     (c)     redact     (d)     react    
    3. (a)     up     (b)     on     (c)     at     (d)     off    
    4. (a)     critical     (b)     critic     (c)     critique     (d)     criticize    
    5. (a)     concertinaed     (b)     concerned     (c)     careened     (d)     cornered    
    6. (a)     be     (b)     do     (c)     have     (d)     make    
    7. (a)     at     (b)     of     (c)     on     (d)     to    
    8. (a)     ageing     (b)     age     (c)     aged     (d)     ages    
    9. (a)     points     (b)     pains     (c)     punts     (d)     pointers    
    10. (a)     gorge     (b)     gauge     (c)     gouge     (d)     gage    
    11. (a)     simplify     (b)     simply     (c)     simple     (d)     simplification    
    12. (a)     many     (b)     much     (c)     any     (d)     more

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. the Massachusetts sIietttnu of Technology
    2. achieve native-like nipocyfeicr
    3. remain taped at learning grammar
    4. past the "iraitlcc period"
    5. As far as a child is coecdnnre
    6. it's quite easy to become ugbnliial

    Paragraph 2

    1. based on an isanyasl of results
    2. learners of all ages dtraecpiapit
    3. Researchers aersumed the grammatical ability
    4. most likely to usfocne a non-native speaker
    5. as a gguae of that
    6. All of these might pcatim your learning rate

    Put the text back together

    (...)  on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a non-native speaker as a gauge of that person's
    (...)  like proficiency in a new language, they should start learning that language before the age
    (...)  of people who started learning a language at different points in their life. Professor Hartshorne focused
    (...)  proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people simply might be too busy
    (...)  teens. The researchers say this is past the "critical period" when language-learning ability starts to
    (...)  time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these might impact your learning rate for any language."
    (...)  to learn a language later in life. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full
    (...)  of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain adept
    (...)  bilingual....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can make up later."
    1  ) New research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that if people want to achieve native-
    (...)  The research was based on an analysis of results from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over
    (...)  670,000 language learners of all ages participated in the test. Researchers measured the grammatical ability
    (...)  at learning grammar. There is bad news for those who want to pick up a new language beyond their late
    (...)  decline. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne said: "As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easy to become

    Put the words in the right order

    1. want   People   to   proficiency   .   achieve   native-like
    2. the   Start   learning   of   before   ten   .   language   age
    3. say   the   past   this   period   .   critical   is   Researchers
    4. you're   learning   when   best   at   languages   .   That's
    5. can   later   .   you   make   Something   up   that
    6. on   results   .   based   Research   an   analysis   was   of
    7. language   all   670,000   learners   of   Over   ages   .
    8. likely   non-native   to   a   confuse   speaker   .   Most
    9. busy   might   learn   .   be   simply   to   People   too
    10. rate   .   these   All   impact   your   might   learning   of

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    New research / researcher from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests / suggestive that if people want to archive / achieve native-like proficiency in a new language, they should start learning that language afore / before the age of ten. The researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain adapt / adept at learning grammar. There is bad news for those who want to pick up a new / newly language beyond / behind their late teens. The researchers say this is past the "critical period" when language-learning ability starts to recline / decline. Researcher Joshua Hartshorne said: "As far as a child is concerned, it's quite easily / easy to become bilingual....That's when you're best at learning languages. It's not really something that you can make down / up later."

    The research was based in / on an analysis of results from a 10-minute online grammar quiz. Over 670,000 language learners of / for all ages participated on / in the test. Researchers measured the grammatically / grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different points in / on their life. Professor Hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a non-native speaker as a gouge / gauge of that person's proficiency. MIT researcher Josh Tenenbaum suggested people simply might be too busy / busily to learn a language later / latter in life. He said: "After 17 or 18, you leave home, you work full time, or you become a specialized university student. All of these might impact / compact your learning rate for any / many language."

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    N_w   r_s__ r c h   f r_m   t h_  M_s s_c h_s_t t s   I n s t_t_t_ _f   T_c h n_l_g y   ( M I T )   s_g g_s t s   t h_t  _f   p__ p l_  w_n t   t_ _c h__ v_  n_t_v_- l_k_  p r_f_c__ n c y  _n  _  n_w   l_n g__ g_,   t h_y   s h__ l d   s t_r t   l__ r n_n g   t h_t   l_n g__ g_  b_f_r_  t h_ _g_ _f   t_n .   T h_  r_s__ r c h_r s  _d d_d   t h_t   c h_l d r_n  _p   t_  t h_ _g_ _f   1 7  _r   1 8   r_m__ n  _d_p t  _t   l__ r n_n g   g r_m m_r .   T h_r_ _s   b_d   n_w s   f_r   t h_s_  w h_  w_n t   t_  p_c k  _p  _  n_w   l_n g__ g_  b_y_n d   t h__ r   l_t_  t__ n s .   T h_  r_s__ r c h_r s   s_y   t h_s  _s   p_s t   t h_  " c r_t_c_l   p_r__ d "   w h_n   l_n g__ g_- l__ r n_n g  _b_l_t y   s t_r t s   t_  d_c l_n_.   R_s__ r c h_r   J_s h__   H_r t s h_r n_  s__ d :   " A s   f_r  _s  _  c h_l d  _s   c_n c_r n_d ,  _t ' s   q__ t_ __ s y   t_  b_c_m_  b_l_n g__ l . . . . T h_t ' s   w h_n   y__ ' r_  b_s t  _t   l__ r n_n g   l_n g__ g_s .   I t ' s   n_t   r__ l l y   s_m_t h_n g   t h_t   y__   c_n   m_k_ _p   l_t_r . "

    T h_  r_s__ r c h   w_s   b_s_d  _n  _n  _n_l y s_s  _f   r_s_l t s   f r_m  _  1 0 - m_n_t_ _n l_n_  g r_m m_r   q__ z .   O v_r   6 7 0 , 0 0 0   l_n g__ g_  l__ r n_r s  _f  _l l  _g_s   p_r t_c_p_t_d  _n   t h_  t_s t .   R_s__ r c h_r s   m__ s_r_d   t h_  g r_m m_t_c_l  _b_l_t y  _f   p__ p l_  w h_  s t_r t_d   l__ r n_n g  _  l_n g__ g_ _t   d_f f_r_n t   p__ n t s  _n   t h__ r   l_f_.   P r_f_s s_r   H_r t s h_r n_  f_c_s_d  _n   g r_m m_r   r_l_s   t h_t   w_r_  m_s t   l_k_l y   t_  c_n f_s_ _  n_n - n_t_v_  s p__ k_r  _s  _  g__ g_ _f   t h_t   p_r s_n ' s   p r_f_c__ n c y .   M I T   r_s__ r c h_r   J_s h   T_n_n b__ m   s_g g_s t_d   p__ p l_  s_m p l y   m_g h t   b_  t__   b_s y   t_  l__ r n  _  l_n g__ g_  l_t_r  _n   l_f_.   H_  s__ d :   " A f t_r   1 7  _r   1 8 ,   y__   l__ v_  h_m_,   y__   w_r k   f_l l   t_m_,  _r   y__   b_c_m_ _  s p_c__ l_z_d  _n_v_r s_t y   s t_d_n t .   A l l  _f   t h_s_  m_g h t  _m p_c t   y__ r   l__ r n_n g   r_t_  f_r  _n y   l_n g__ g_. "

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    new research from the massachusetts institute of technology mit suggests that if people want to achieve nativelike proficiency in a new language they should start learning that language before the age of ten the researchers added that children up to the age of 17 or 18 remain adept at learning grammar there is bad news for those who want to pick up a new language beyond their late teens the researchers say this is past the critical period when language learning ability starts to decline researcher joshua hartshorne said as far as a child is concerned its quite easy to become bilingual thats when youre best at learning languages its not really something that you can make up later

    the research was based on an analysis of results from a 10minute online grammar quiz over 670000 language learners of all ages participated in the test researchers measured the grammatical ability of people who started learning a language at different points in their life professor hartshorne focused on grammar rules that were most likely to confuse a nonnative speaker as a gauge of that persons proficiency mit researcher josh tenenbaum suggested people simply might be too busy to learn a language later in life he said after 17 or 18 you leave home you work full time or you become a specialized university student all of these might impact your learning rate for any language"

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    NewresearchfromtheMassachusettsInstituteofTechnology(MIT)sug
    geststhatifpeoplewanttoachievenative-likeproficiencyinanewlangu
    age,theyshouldstartlearningthatlanguagebeforetheageoften.There
    searchersaddedthatchildrenuptotheageof17or18remainadeptatlear
    ninggrammar.Thereisbadnewsforthosewhowanttopickupanewlang
    uagebeyondtheirlateteens.Theresearcherssaythisispastthe"critical
    period"whenlanguage-learningabilitystartstodecline.ResearcherJos
    huaHartshornesaid:"Asfarasachildisconcerned,it'squiteeasytobeco
    mebilingual....That'swhenyou'rebestatlearninglanguages.It'snotre
    allysomethingthatyoucanmakeuplater."Theresearchwasbasedonan
    analysisofresultsfroma10-minuteonlinegrammarquiz.Over670,00
    0languagelearnersofallagesparticipatedinthetest.Researchersmeas
    uredthegrammaticalabilityofpeoplewhostartedlearningalanguageat
    differentpointsintheirlife.ProfessorHartshornefocusedongrammarru
    lesthatweremostlikelytoconfuseanon-nativespeakerasagaugeoft
    hatperson'sproficiency.MITresearcherJoshTenenbaumsuggestedpe
    oplesimplymightbetoobusytolearnalanguagelaterinlife.Hesaid:"Aft
    er17or18,youleavehome,youworkfulltime,oryoubecomeaspecialize
    duniversitystudent.Allofthesemightimpactyourlearningrateforanyla
    nguage."

    Free writing

    Write about language learning for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    It's never too late to learn a language. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. LANGUAGE LEARNING: Make a poster about language learning. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. BILINGUAL: Write a magazine article about all governments making it a policy for children to be bilingual. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on language learning. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your ideas on how to best learn a language. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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