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Language exposure goes at what age?

Hi there, I think it's quite well known that children growing up have a 15x better intake of information at a young age and can take advantages of learning languages. What I would like to know is when does that ability disappear, I'm currently 14 years old and will turn 15 in July, however, I would like to know at my age currently if I still am at an advantage of learning languages

Thanks. Merci. Danke. Tack :)

May 10, 2017


  • 1954

It's not like your ability to learn things will dissapear just because you turn 15 or something. Of course the earlier you start the better but that goes for every age, just because you won't have to say later "I wish I started to learn xyz language 2 years ago, I could have been fluent by now." Also when you learn anything you practice your brain and learning anything new after that should just become easier. So happy learning :-)


17-39 is a large gap in age...hmm.


I'd say because by age 17 is when most basic schooling stops, before school ends it's easy to intake information because you are used to learning large quantities of information every day for the past 10 years but after school the only learning left to be done is either at college should you choose to go or the specific tactics learned at your job


Well, motivation is by far what matters most. Does learning a language become harder with age? My answer is: possibly... I don't know, nor am I interested at all... however, the answer to success is motivation and a good approach, in which many adults have succeeded too. I would say you're not in a "now or never" situation.

  • 1954

I totally agree. I have learned more German in a year now that I am adult than I learned of English 20 years ago as a kid when I had it at school for years... Really learned English only when I was older than 20 and all by myself.. So motivation and knowing how to learn is the real key to language learning. I think kids learn awfully fast only when they actually move to a place with different language, otherwise average kid won't have better results than an average adult.


There's a very common neuro-myth that we need to be careful of here. Although children's brains are more plastic than adults, and the speed and ease of learning a second language does change over time, it's still perfectly possible to learn a second language effectively and fully as an adult.

Often people misunderstood the Critical period hypothesis, which is about the initial acquisition of language skills as a whole, rather than the acquisition of second languages.


I don't know but I can guarantee it won't get easier for you than it is now so study hard


The younger the better! Just saying!


Well, the studies/articles I've read about it say that the best years to learn a second language are before the age of nine, so anytime from infancy until 9. But many people have been able to learn a second language (or a third, a fourth, a fifth...) as well as become fluent in same at a much older age, so at 14 you're certainly not too old. I didn't start learning English until I was in my teens and I'd say I'm very fluent in English nowadays.


From what I've read, the main thing that becomes much harder after early childhood is getting a perfect accent. Your brain kinda locks into a certain phoneme inventory.


It depends. Some people are able to lose their 'foreign' accents much quicker and easier than others.


Children probably learn fast because they don't have other things to worry. They can just focus on learning new things. Somebody feeds them and plays with them. I believe adults would learn a language pretty well in a few years if they would live 'as a child' in a foreign household, and someone would just chit chat with them, read kids' books to them, tell them to hold the spoon properly and teach them to put on the socks etc etc, just as in raising a child..


Well, unfortunately not nearly every child grows up in worry-free environment or has a perfect childhood, such as you described.


Probably the early teen years is a good time to begin


begin Learning languages?


The time that you readily absorb linguistic information as quickly (I wouldn't say 15x as quickly) starts to go away around the age of 12, but even after that you're still able to learn a language to very high degree.



Some polyglots say that “the critical period hypothesis is a bunch of crap”.



It is actually a myth that children are better at language learning. Think of it this way, how long does it take a child to become native in their own language, not basic, but fluent fluent? 12, 14, 16 years to be measured as fluent fluent on a standardized test? What is true, is that children have no fear, and language learning requires making mistakes and trying to speak. So they definitely appear to be learning, and chances are they can speak basics quicker than an adult. But as far as complex ideas such as grammar, it is much easier for an adult to learn. So when it comes to that final test of fluency, an adult will achieve a higher score quicker than a child always.


The more languages you learn, the easier it will be to learn new languages because you learn how to learn languages. Accents on the other hand are a different issue.


I do not believe at all in this kind of sayings, they are a kind of myths. On the contrary, instead the more experience you have with learning natural languages (so one recognizes its grammar rules, vocabulary, cross associations and transfer with and between other languages, ...) and also if you are motivated, recognize the usefulness of knowing the language for your own particular purposes (e.g. vacation, friends, desire for knowledge, ...) and willing to learn probably the more likely it is and the more probable that you will be mastering a natural language at any point in time.


It's doesn't matter if you're a kid or an adult you both have the same possibilities to learn a langauge, the only way children learn language is not because they are children but because they repeat what they hear around them. Be it 8 or 40 years the latter can learn a language just as easily if he tries to and doesn't say ''I'm too old/I can't/I don't have talent/time/(Insert whatever excuse you want).


it probably goes in your late teens or maybe in mid teen years? I'm not sure, but I'm 12, and I still have that language exposure/advantage thingy, so I do know you have it at 12 and 13yrs

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