L'École branchée, un organisme à but non lucratif
0.00 $

No products in the cart.

Learning a new language: possible and beneficial at any age

For cognitive reasons, it is often easier for children to learn a foreign language than for adults. A recent study indicates that the benefits of learning a new language on the brain are significant, for both children and adults.

Published on :

Posted in:

For cognitive reasons, it is often easier for children to learn a foreign language than for adults. It is generally on this scientific argument that the desire to teach a second language is based from an early age. The results of a recent study indicate that the benefits of learning a new language on the brain are significant, for both children and adults.

According to several scientific studies in linguistics and neurology, it would be desirable to learn a foreign language as early as possible in one's life, preferably from an early age. The malleability of children's brains would facilitate this learning and have positive impacts on cognitions. However, a study carried out under the direction of Ping li, professor in the psychology department of the Pennsylvania State University, indicates that learning a new language also has important positive effects in adults.

Li and his team recruited participants with English as their mother tongue. The participants were divided into two groups, one of which was to learn Chinese vocabulary. The two groups were followed for a period of six weeks. The brain activity of the participants was measured and studied using magnetic resonance imaging. The work was led by the Brain, Language, and Computation Lab.

The results show that, overall, the participants in the group of people who learned Chinese had higher brain activity than those in the other group. The activity was measured by focusing in particular on neuronal changes. The study also shows that the participants who performed best in learning Chinese were those who initially had more neuronal activity.

For Li and her team, this shows that positive anatomical changes can result from learning a new language, regardless of the age of the learners. While this confirms the positive effects of learning a foreign language at a young age, it also indicates the relevance of continuing the process into adulthood. According to Li, the brain has significant plasticity even in adulthood.

In light of the study, it is therefore never too late to learn a second language, or even a third!

About the Author

Dominic Leblanc
Dominic leblanc
A graduate in sociology, Dominic Leblanc is an educational advisor in the Programs and Educational Development Department of the Cégep régional de Lanaudière in L'Assomption.

Your comments

To comment on this topic and add your ideas, we invite you to follow us on social networks. All articles are published there and it is also possible to comment directly on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Do you have news to share with us or would you like to publish a testimonial?

Publicize your educational project or share your ideas via our Opinion, Testimonials or Press Releases sections! Here's how to do it!

Receive the Weekly Newsletter

Get our Info #DevProf and l'Hebdo so you don't miss out on anything new at École branchée!

You might also like:

3 ways to unite the teaching and development of oral skills in French and English in secondary school

In this article, our collaborators, France Legault, Maxime Paquet and Dave Parenteau, offer a few ways to maximize efforts and promote collaboration between all language teachers.

Entertaining projects for teachers and students

Sara Hurley and Kali-Anne Monneret are two teachers from Quebec who are currently working at Lycée Antoine-de-Saint-Exupéry in Santiago, Chile. They are passionate about educational innovation and have undertaken various educational projects aimed at improving education in their primary school. They tell us about it here!

Learning languages in the digital age: challenges and opportunities

The New Media Consortium, an influential American association that brings together specialists in educational technology, has just published an expected report on trends, challenges and opportunities related to language learning in the digital age.

Spelling: when writing without making mistakes becomes child's play!

According to an OQLF report, if the spelling assessment criteria were eliminatory during the single test in French in Secondary V, about half of the students would fail. Here are some ideas and resources, for the classroom and the home, to take on this challenge!