by Alexia Wolker
Learning a new language is an activity that can keep your brain challenged at any age. But adults, especially over the age of 30, are often discouraged to take on the challenge. They give in to the common belief, that learning a new language has a critical age.
You might have been struggling to learn a new language but never went past the greeting phrases and individual words. This might be tempting you to believe that learning a new language is not your thing since you are too old. But this is far from the truth. And your lagging language learning process has its roots in other factors than your age.
The fact that the older you get the more difficult it is for you to master a new language is more due to social and cultural reasons than biological ones. You might have been away from the learning atmosphere for a long time and your brain has difficulty getting used to the process. Another reason is that adults are more engaged in everyday challenges of work, family, or other life issues. Therefore, they do not have enough free time and peace of mind to focus on their learning process fully.
Some scientific studies have found that the brain capacity to master a new language has a critical age. If you go past that critical age, learning a new language will be difficult, if not impossible.
But there is no need to panic! There is not a consensus among scientists in this regard. Linguists are divided on the reason why learning a new language becomes more difficult with age. In addition, the research does not clearly state that "fluency" cannot be achieved past the critical age. Fluency is referred to as the ability to communicate easily, without having to resort to gestures or experiencing major misunderstandings. A native-like accent is not a mark of fluency. So, there is no need to worry if you are past puberty and dream of speaking a foreign language. You can definitely do it.
If you are struggling to be fluent in a foreign language, you might want to consider your learning methods, rather than doubting your mental abilities. More often than not, the strategies we adopt in learning determine the outcome. There is more to learning a language than simply going through grammar and vocabulary books and memorizing phrases. If you are not able to apply your knowledge in real-life situations, you cannot claim that you have mastered the language.
To achieve the purpose of communicating in a language, the following strategies have proved helpful:
It might be more difficult to write in a foreign language since the elements of oral communication like gestures and mutual interaction are not present. But if you have mastered the vocabulary and grammar, you will be good to go. Sometimes it is a good idea to use essay services that help you write your essays. These online writing services provide professional essay writing services for those who might not be familiar with the writing process, especially in a foreign language. You can find a cheap writing service to do the job for you.
But if you choose to do the writing yourself, you need to learn the principles of writing:
If you are an adult who is planning to learn a new language, do not surrender to the idea that it is too late. All you need is to believe in yourself, do what is right, and take the plunge. You are never too old to be fluent in a foreign language.
Further information about the critical period
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