Language Development and Age

Language Development and Age

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Julia Herschensohn
Cambridge University Press, 10/18/2007
EAN 9780521872973, ISBN10: 0521872979

Hardcover, 304 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.7 cm
Language: English

The anecdotal view of language acquisition is that children learn language with apparent ease, no instruction and in very little time, while adults find learning a new language to be cognitively challenging, labour intensive and time-consuming. In this book Herschensohn examines whether early childhood is a critical period for language acquisition after which individuals cannot learn a language as native speakers. She argues that a first language is largely susceptible to age constraints, showing major deficits past the age of twelve. Second-language acquisition also shows age effects, but with a range of individual differences. The competence of expert adult learners, the unequal achievements of child learners of second languages, and the lack of consistent evidence for a maturational cut-off, all cast doubt on a critical period for second-language acquisition.

1. Just in time
is there a critical period for language acquisition?
2. Right on time
process and schedule of first language acquisition
3. All in good time
a window of opportunity for first language acquisition
4. Behind time
process and schedule of second language acquisition
5. Pressed for time
age constraints in second language acquisition
6. Biding time
further consideration of age and acquisition
7. It's about time
evaluation of age sensitivity in language acquisition.

'... will most certainly function as a rich resource for scholars interested in age effects in language acquisition for many years to come.' Journal of Linguistics