Tangled Tongues

Polyglot your tongue?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Many people think they are too old to learn a new language. Supposedly, young kids pick up languages faster because their brains are still developing. But is any of that really true?

Joshua Hartshorne, Joshua Tenenbaum and Steven Pinker decided to take on this word search! They gave a short online quiz to assess how age influences the mastery of language. Over six hundred thousand volunteers from ages seven to ninety participated!

How did their findings compare with previously accepted notions? Past research says after age seven, attaining new language skills declines. However, THIS study found that people can master a new language up to age seventeen!

How quickly someone can master a language also depends on different factors. Age is one, but immersion and exposure are also influential!

These findings can help us better understand how our brains process language and communication! Great news!

Now, where did I store my old highschool French textbooks?