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  1. #11
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I guess you know that the "critical age" theory has taken a bit of a beating in the last 40 years. There seems to be a slower deterioration than first thought of the ability to "learn like a child", and it might extend into adolescence. Also it's been found that even though adults don't have the plasticity of neuronal connections that little children do, their ability to process abstract information and to think logically can make up for that.
    Maybe, but as someone well into middle age trying to learn a new language, I wouldn't mind having some more memory.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Maybe, but as someone well into middle age trying to learn a new language, I wouldn't mind having some more memory.
    I agree. Having had few problems with French and German in my youth, I thought I would enjoy learning Czech, the language of my new home. My age (53 when I started) and language-learning experience mean that I haven't really had difficulty with the grammar, which is something that defeats many English people who try to learn Czech. I just cannot remember the vocabulary! After a total of ten years' residence here, three attempts at formal lessons and a couple of 'teach yourself' books and tapes, I estimate that I know less than 250 words.

  3. #13
    Jenny Nguyen is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I have just googled "effect of age on language learning" and got 23 million hits! I glanced briefly down the first page and at the first article, and got the impression that there might be some useful material for you there.
    Thanks a lot. But I mean effect on language learner strategies (learners' specific actions or behaviors to facilitate learning). For example, I think adults use more meta-cognitive strategies than children. Is it right?

  4. #14
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I agree. Having had few problems with French and German in my youth, I thought I would enjoy learning Czech, the language of my new home. My age (53 when I started) and language-learning experience mean that I haven't really had difficulty with the grammar, which is something that defeats many English people who try to learn Czech. I just cannot remember the vocabulary! After a total of ten years' residence here, three attempts at formal lessons and a couple of 'teach yourself' books and tapes, I estimate that I know less than 250 words.
    I started learning Khmer in 2004, had some beginner lessons in Japanese in the middle and I notice that it is much harder now to remember Tagalog vocab- the difference is remarkable. (Turning 50 this year)

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny Nguyen View Post
    Thanks a lot. But I mean effect on language learner strategies (learners' specific actions or behaviors to facilitate learning). For example, I think adults use more meta-cognitive strategies than children. Is it right?
    ]
    Hi Jenny,
    Personally I think motivation plays an important role on what strategies may be implemented by learners. Obviously motivation factors vary a lot depending on whether you are focussing on second language learners or foreign language learners. In the former case you are more likely to be dealing with language acquisition, whereas in the latter you are talking about language learning.
    As an English teacher to 10-14-year-old Italian students my experience has taught me that if you manage to raise their interest and
    their attention the results may be pleasantly surprising. Then again their motivation may differ a lot from that of learners having to learn a language because they have moved to a different country where they live now. Accordingly I think their learning strategies are going to be different.
    Hope this helps.
    All the best
    Shan
    Last edited by shannico; 20-Feb-2012 at 12:33. Reason: added Italian students

  6. #16
    Jenny Nguyen is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by shannico View Post
    ]
    Hi Jenny,
    Personally I think motivation plays an important role on what strategies may be implemented by learners. Obviously motivation factors vary a lot depending on whether you are focussing on second language learners or foreign language learners. In the former case you are more likely to be dealing with language acquisition, whereas in the latter you are talking about language learning.
    As an English teacher to 10-14-year-old Italian students my experience has taught me that if you manage to raise their interest and
    their attention the results may be pleasantly surprising. Then again their motivation may differ a lot from that of learners having to learn a language because they have moved to a different country where they live now. Accordingly I think their learning strategies are going to be different.
    Hope this helps.
    All the best
    Shan
    Hi Shan,

    I really appreciate your idea. I think there are different factors affecting learner strategies such as: motivation, age, learning goal, interaction, nature of tasks (sub learning goal)....However, I intend to focus on one factor of those to do empirical study this time. I am looking for materials relating to this topic. It would be very grateful if you should share with me when you come across some references some time. Thank you. Nice to meet you. I hope I can improve my specialized knowledge and have a chance to exchange useful information from pen pals around the world.

    Jenny

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny Nguyen View Post
    Thank you for your in formation. Yes, I agree. younger is better because of the flexibility of the brain. Older is better because they use meta- awareness to analyze prefixes, suffixes, structure. However, I wonder there are any theories about age impact on the use of language learner strategies.
    I think you could do worse than follow up on these studies that show a difference in ability associated with age. If there are currently different strategies being used with different ages, those decisions about strategy could reasonably be assumed to be based on the different abilities at different ages. They are not separate concerns.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny Nguyen View Post
    . However, I wonder there are any theories about age impact on the use of language learner strategies.
    You might find this interesting

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I have just googled "effect of age on language learning" and got 23 million hits! I glanced briefly down the first page and at the first article, and got the impression that there might be some useful material for you there.
    Was that on scholar.google.com? Not everyone knows about this variant of the ubiquitous catalogue.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Age impact on language learner strategies

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    I agree. Having had few problems with French and German in my youth, I thought I would enjoy learning Czech, the language of my new home. My age (53 when I started) and language-learning experience mean that I haven't really had difficulty with the grammar, which is something that defeats many English people who try to learn Czech. I just cannot remember the vocabulary! After a total of ten years' residence here, three attempts at formal lessons and a couple of 'teach yourself' books and tapes, I estimate that I know less than 250 words.
    In that case, I'd (theoretically) suggest studying Grimm's Laws, and the rules of phonetic change from Proto-Indo-European to the Slavic and Germanic languages, as well as Slavic and Germanic philology (my area is the Latin languages, but hey).

    I've found that recognizing the shifted vowels and consonants over the centuries allows you to "see through" the modern words and into their cognates in the other related languages, e.g. Vulgar Latin cl, fl, pl > Castillian ll.... llamar < clamar, claim, exclaim, call; llama < flama, flame.

    The reason I suggest the philological approach is that even I, who have never formally studied the Slavic languages, can recognize etymologies related to English in mother Russian now that I'm trying to delve into the language a little (e.g. daughter, tochter, дочка; love, liebe, любовь [lyub].

    It's worth a try, then you'll likely start remembering the vocabulary.

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