“The linguistic genius of babies”

I came across this 2010 Ted Talk by Patricia Kuhl recently, which is certainly not new to some, but was new to me.  I thought I would share as it supports what we’re all trying to do to some degree:  expose our children to language early and often.

Ms. Kuhl touches upon an interesting point, which is basically that children should be exposed to new languages as early as possible.  She starts out by explaining that “babies and children are geniuses” at learning languages “until they turn seven, and then there’s a systematic decline. After puberty, we fall off the map.”  This is not to say that you can’t learn a language after 7, but it does become increasingly more difficult.  I can attest to this, as I briefly flirted with the idea of learning Slovak, until I realized learning a handful of phrases during my morning commute was not going to cut it (and did you know Slovak has 7 conjugations and even nouns are conjugated?!).

 

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