Adults learn languages better than children

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on Aug 9, 2011 Aug 9, 2011

It has become common knowledge that children can learn languages more easily than adults; but can they learn them better?

Apparently, no.

Research shows that adults will learn foreign languages better than children, because their ability to understand and apply language rules is more developed than children. Although children may become fluent faster than adults, they aren’t likely to understand why a word is pronounced in a certain way or how to link phrases together.

This theory is great for adults who want to learn a language but are hesitant to spend money on something that isn’t worthwhile. It seems that with discipline and the right learning method, adults can become just as fluent as children.

The added bonus: “Grown-ups” will be better able to explain why a certain rule applies and will be able to use that rule in future conversations.

So if you think you’re past the age of learning a new language, think again. Pick up a book or sign up for a language class today; you might just surprise yourself!

Read original article from New Scientist to see how researchers came to this conclusion: Age no excuse for failing to learn a new language

Topics: Language Learning