TED Conversations

Eliza Killpack

Student,

This conversation is closed.

To what extent does first language acquisition differ to second language acquisition?

I'm doing a project under the question: to what extent does first language acquisition differ to second language acquisition?

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

My project focuses on the different processes that may be at work in the minds of children and adults as they go about learning their first and second (or third, or fourth...) languages. Is there really a 'critical age' after which we cannot effectively learn languages? What can explain the remarkable rate of child language acquisition in comparison with the relative failure of adults attempting to do the same thing?

I've talked about Chomsky's 'LAD', the 'critical age', and quality and quantity of input from carers/teachers; does anyone have any further, interesting speculations? I'd be interested to discover what people think; this really is a hot topic, especially with the emergence of English as a global language. I'm also interested about what happens when bilingualism comes into play. Does anyone have any curious, humorous or otherwise interesting personal experiences with first/second language learning?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 31 2011: Hello all,

    Thank you for all your helpful insights - I will be sure to incorporate what I can to my project. I hope to follow up on your suggestions soon. Andrew I will take a look at your website, sounds great.

    Eliza

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.