Presentations

Event Title

How We Learn Langauges

Date

April 2021

Location

Online

Description

Languages are an integral part of our everyday lives. Young children learn their native language easily. However, no one can fully explain how they do this. It is also difficult to explain how people become bilingual, as there is variation within bilingual language learning. Some people are exposed to a second language at birth, others learn one later in life. Bilingualism itself has a wide range of impacts on a person’s brain development and function, including their executive control and neuroplasticity. Much of the contradictory information about how we learn languages comes from the problematic ways language learning is studied. For instance, different studies focus on different elements of language learning and follow different participants. It is difficult to draw conclusions when comparing studies that do not involve the same element of language learning or the same people. A promising way to study the impacts of learning a language is comparing a person’s brain scans before and after learning a language. Despite the contradictory information available about language learning, the Dynamic Restruting Model (DRM) brings many elements together, including models of neuroplasticity already in place, and will be a useful tool for future research.

Presentation Type

Presentation

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How We Learn Langauges

Online

Languages are an integral part of our everyday lives. Young children learn their native language easily. However, no one can fully explain how they do this. It is also difficult to explain how people become bilingual, as there is variation within bilingual language learning. Some people are exposed to a second language at birth, others learn one later in life. Bilingualism itself has a wide range of impacts on a person’s brain development and function, including their executive control and neuroplasticity. Much of the contradictory information about how we learn languages comes from the problematic ways language learning is studied. For instance, different studies focus on different elements of language learning and follow different participants. It is difficult to draw conclusions when comparing studies that do not involve the same element of language learning or the same people. A promising way to study the impacts of learning a language is comparing a person’s brain scans before and after learning a language. Despite the contradictory information available about language learning, the Dynamic Restruting Model (DRM) brings many elements together, including models of neuroplasticity already in place, and will be a useful tool for future research.