The Neurosciences behind Learning a second language
The scientist Paul Broca discovered in 1861 that a particular area in the brain was dedicated to language acquisition
After more than 35 years of research, Jean Petit, a French psycholinguist, along with American scientists, established that:
- The best age to learn a second language is between 0 and 7 years.
- Up to 5 languages can be learned during that period.
- Discrimination between sounds is very easy for young children without making any mistake.
- The learning process at that age is compared to a TVG (French fastest train ever)
- Writing and reading with the same alphabet is easier.
- Mathematics and music skills are enhanced by learning a 2nd language
After 7years old , the learning process slows down
At 13, the articulation and sound production mechanism (phoneme and allophone) are programmed on monolingual mode. This is why adults have trouble learning a second language and keep the accent of the mother tongue when speaking that language.
- Start as soon as possible
- No favoritism between mother tongue and second language
- Intensity, continuity, exposure and use of the second language
- Instrumental and communicative approach (“fun” opposed to “rigorous and strict”)
- Native teacher
- Positive and warm emotional environment