Did you know humans don’t learn new sounds after the age of 7?

Have you ever realized that people who learn a second language since a young age have a better pronunciation in comparison to those who started learning a new language after childhood? It is not always a condition of good of bad teaching, it is a relation between brain and age.

Numerous studies have confirmed that humans don’t learn new sounds after the age of seven. In 2012, the Swedish study “Language learning makes the brain grow” suggested that this fact happens because kids’ brains develop their functions according to what they listen to. According to this investigation, the areas of the brain that grew linked to a second language make easier to kids maintain “clean” their pronunciation.

On the other hand, kids who don’t learn a second language before the age of seven, find considerably difficult notice that they have accent, and consequently, learn to improve their pronunciation.

Not learn a second language at a young age not only provokes an accent that will be difficult to clean, but also difficulties to differentiate between some phonemes. The Swedish study also emphasizes in Japanese’s pronunciation. The investigation discovered that adult native Japanese speakers find difficult to differentiate between the English “r” and “l” sounds. That is evidenced when they can’t distinguish “river” to “liver”.

Unlike kids, either Japanese or any other nationality, who learn a second language, like Spanish, since a young age and before seven years old, is easier to memorize phonemes, words, conjugations, sentences and other elements of a language.



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