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critical_period [2013/12/14 09:20] (current)
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 +*       - According to Fernandez and Cairns (2011), //Critical Period// is "the optimal period for first language acquisition before the early teen years, after which a fully complex linguistic system will not develop"​ (Fernandez and Cairns, 2011, p. 79).  This hypothesis argues that after the critical period, it is difficult for an individual to learn a new language when compared to learning a language at a young age.  
 +  *       - //Age Constraints on Second-Language Acquisition study//- Flege, Yeni-Komshian,​ & Liu, (1999) studied the critical period hypothesis for second language acquisition with 240 native Korean speaker participants. ​ They were evaluated on their sentence grammar structures and pronunciation of English. ​ The results showed that the participants who arrived later at a mean age of 16.6 years of age, had a stronger foreign accent compared to those who arrived at a younger mean age of 9.7 years of age.  As the participants'​ age of arrival increased, foreign accents grew stronger and the scores on grammar tests decreased. 
 +  *       - //Critical Period Effects in Second Language Learning: The Influence of Maturational State on the Acquisition of English as a Second Language//- Johnson and Newport(1989) studied the relationship between age and learning the grammar of a second language. ​ They had a total of 46 participants who were native Chinese or Korean speakers who spoke English as their second language who arrived in the US from ages 3- 39.  There were 23 participants who arrived in the US before the age 15 and 23 subjects who arrived in the US after the age 17.  As a result, the researchers found that "​subjects who began acquiring English in the United States at an earlier age obtained higher scores on the test than those that began later" (Johnson and Newport, 1989). ​ They also found that those who came to the US "​before the age of seven reached native performance on the test", while those who arrived later resulted in "a linear decline in performance up through puberty"​. ​ This study clearly supports the critical period hypothesis, in which language acquisition is optimal before puberty and declines with age. 
 +  *       - //A Test of the Critical-Period Hypothesis for Second-Language Acquisition//​- Hakuta, Bialystok and Wiley (2003) studied the relationship between the age of acquisition on second-language proficiency. ​ They had 2,016,317 Spanish speakers and 324,444 Chinese speakers. ​ As a result, they found that as the age of initial second-language exposure increased, there was a decline in second-language proficiency. ​ Hakuta, Bialystok and Wiley (2003) also stated that "in addition to age of immigration,​ socioeconomic factors, and in particular the amount of formal education, are important in predicting how well immigrants learn English"​ (Hakuta, Bialystok and Wiley, 2003). ​ So not only does the age of exposure have an effect on language acquisition,​ but also other social factors as well.