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The Second Language AcquisitionNameInstitutional Affiliation
Question #1:Do differences in AGE play a role in SLA? if so, how? Explain how this relatesto the critical period hypothesis. What do the studies show?The differences in age play a significant role in second language acquisition (S.L.A.).In fact, younger children may perform better language learning skills in comparison to theadults, in the concerns of the ability to learn a second language (Gass & Selinker, 2008). Still,the adult learners would acquire higher learning rate because they are able to learn faster thanthe children, especially in morphological and syntactic development. Thus, while the childrenhave better ultimate attainment in language learning skills, the adults have a better learningrate. In addition, the age effect on second language learning also depends on several otherlinguistics factors. While claiming that children acquires better language learning skills thanthe adults, it is critical to specify those linguistics factors for specific measurements. The firstfactor of the age effect in learning a second language would be the critical period hypothesis.Thus, it is necessary to consider the difference between the critical period and the sensitiveperiod in language learning. The critical period is the period of time that certain stimulus isrequired to be proceeded so that the ordinary development from the age of acquisition of anindividual would be able to happen. The sensitive period is the period of time that childrenfrom the age of first exposure are able to adopt language learning skill easily and naturallyeven though they are not educated or instructed. For example, a three-year-old (age of firstexposure) Chinese child would be able to learn Chinese language at the sensitive period. Bythe time he/she is six years old (age of acquisition), he/she moves to America and starts tolearn English at the critical period. In case the child has no contact with Chinese, the Chineselanguage would become his/her second language, and the English language would becomehis/her first language. This is the age effect from the critical period hypothesis, whichindicates the limited period during the development process that an individual may adopt alanguage as the first language, or a second language as native speakers. This limited period
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during the development process is called the “window of opportunity,” which concerns thetemporal span during which sensitivity or learning potential is at the peak attainment(Birdsong, 2006). The age-related declines in learning ability is not a onetime event because itinfluences one linguistic domain at first and then the others, which are not limited tophonology. The declines may start at six years old, not at puberty. These claims are based onevidence of English and other European languages as well.

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Term
Spring
Professor
JeffreyA.Bacha
Tags
Language education, Second language acquisition

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