Why Are Adults Bad At New Languages?
Thanks to the University of Minnesota for sponsoring this video!
Learning a new language as an adult is harder than doing so as a child because adults usually aren’t as invested and often use the wrong strategies.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Second-Language Acquisition: The process of a language that’s not the speaker’s native language.
Bilingualism: The ability to speak and understand two languages.
Monitor Model: A group of hypotheses that propose that linguistic competence is only advanced when language is subconsciously acquired.
Sociolinguistics: The study of language in relation to all sorts of social factors.
Linguistic Investment: A motivation to learn a language based on the understanding that the speaker will acquire a wider range of symbolic and material resources, which will in turn increase the value of their cultural capital and social power.
Hyperpolyglot: A person who can speak and understand more than six languages.
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer, Editor and Video Editor and Narrator: David Goldenberg (@dgoldenberg)
Video Illustrator: Arcadi Garcia Rius (@garirius)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Alex Reich, Kate Yoshida, Ever Salazar, Peter Reich, Julián Gómez, Sarah Berman
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:
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Bigelow, M., and Tarone, E. (2004). The Role of Literacy Level in Second Language Acquisition: Doesn’t Who We Study Determine What We Know? TESOL Quarterly. 38(4): 689-700. Retrieved from:
Darvin, R. and Norton, B. (2015). Identity and a Model of Investment in Applied Linguistics. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. 35: 36-56. Retrieved from:
Pierce, B. (2015). Social Identity, Investment, and Language Learning. TESOL Quarterly. 29(1): 9-31. Retrieved from:
Derakshan, A. (2015). The Interference of First Language and Second Language Acquisition. Theory and Practice in Language Studies. 5(10):2112-211. Retrieved from:
Rao, P., and Knaus, E. (2008). Evolution of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Cyclooxygenase (COX) Inhibition and Beyond. Journal of Pharmaceutical Science. 11 (2): 81-110. Retrieved from:
Bigelow, M. (2019). Personal Communication. Department of Curriculum and Instruction. University of Minnesota.
Paesani, K. (2019). Personal Communication. The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. University of Minnesota.