ERIC Number: EJ906450
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-27
Reference Count: N/A
Pathways Seen for Acquiring Languages
Sparks, Sarah D.
Education Week, v30 n9 p1, 13 Oct 2010
New studies on how language learning occurs are beginning to chip away at some long-held notions about second-language acquisition and point to potential learning benefits for students who speak more than one language. New National Science Foundation-funded collaborations among educators, cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists, and linguists have started to find the evidence to back up that assertion. Researchers long thought the window for learning a new language shrinks rapidly after age 7 and closes almost entirely after puberty. Yet interdisciplinary research conducted over the past five years at the University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, and other colleges suggest that the time frame may be more flexible than first thought and that students who learn additional languages become more adaptable in other types of learning, too. "There has been an explosion of research on bilingual-language processing," said Judith F. Kroll, the principal investigator for the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain project launched this month at Penn State's Center for Language Science in University Park, Pennsylvania. The five-year, $2.8 million project is intended to bring together neuroscientists, linguists, and cognitive scientists to compare the brain and mental processes of different types of bilingual people, such as a Mandarin-English speaker whose languages include different writing systems or a deaf English speaker whose signed and written languages involve different modes of communication.
Descriptors: Language Processing, Language Acquisition, Language Research, Neurolinguistics, Neurological Organization, Research Projects, Measurement Techniques, Influence of Technology, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Measurement, Multilingualism
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania