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Young Children Are the Best German Language Learners

By Tlb
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The field of language learning is full of myths and misconceptions, possibly because every literate person has been successful at learning at least one language and so may consider himself to be something of an expert on the topic. The myth that I wish to discuss in the present article is that young children are the best learners of a second language. This is a widely-held belief that contains an element of truth, but which for the most part has been disproved by recent linguistic research.


A certain post displayed how people tend to misjudge children as the age group that learns German language at its best. Such statement above makes me remind of what my father argued with me that children are incapable of learning a second language, particularly German. We were just discussing how a family friend of ours decided to go to Austria for a short 8-month stay—or maybe even stay for good. He exclaimed how his friend’s 5-year old son would really get a lot of difficulties in adjusting the new culture that he was about to face. He emphasized that the child will get difficulties in learning German language as he stays there.


Regardless of the various explanations I did in “convincing” my dad that the child will not have grave difficulties to learn German language, still he insisted his point. Well, making the long story short, I just kept quiet. If only my father would discover that what he was insisting at all was a myth.


I hope you are not like my dad. Though I do agree some of his point of view that the child will encounter lots of adjustments since he will be encountering a different culture, I don’t agree that he will not learn the language at all. Scientific studies can prove that young learners have more “absorption” in their brains because this is the stage where they will demand to learn and discover things. Language, for example, will serve like water and the child’s brain is like a sponge. Everything that child observes will be absorbed by his mind; that’s just how it works.  In fact, studies can attest how young learners tend to learn German language faster compared to adults. That is one fact we honestly cannot argue.


So if you personally know someone who is interested to learn German, especially when he is a child, don’t kill such interest. Allow it to be untapped by letting him learn it in language schools. Such institutions will boost that child’s interests in learning languages. Think about it.

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