ling 1 - Assignment#1 Chris Collotta 18931668 Studies and...

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Assignment #1 Chris Collotta 18931668 Studies and evidence have shown that there is a critical period in everyone’s life for acquiring a first language, or their native language. According to the critical period hypothesis, children have the ability to acquire a language in the years before puberty occurs. From puberty and on, our brains change in a way that makes it more difficult to learn full language achievement. An interesting question to ask is if this same hypothesis applies when one is trying to acquire a second language. In this essay, I will examine and evaluate an experiment conducted by James J. Asher and Ramiro Garcia which attempts to determine if there is an optimal age for learning a second language. In their 1969 experiment, Asher and Garcia used Cuban immigrant children and American children to compare their pronunciation of English. In addition to the comparison of pronunciation other factors were recorded, two of which were relevant to this topic: how long each Cuban child had been living in the United States and how old they were when they came. The experimental group consisted of Cuban children between the ages of 7 and 19 (26 males, 45 females), and most had been in the United States for about 5 years. The control group consisted of 30 American children (13 males, 17 females). Participants were asked to speak 4 English sentences into a tape recorder. After each child was recorded, the sentences were then played back to juniors and seniors from
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This note was uploaded on 06/22/2008 for the course LING 100 taught by Professor Siraj during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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ling 1 - Assignment#1 Chris Collotta 18931668 Studies and...

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