April 13, 2012

Article: How Immersion Helps to Learn a Language

From http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/how-immersion-helps-to-learn-a-new-language.html?_r=2

How Immersion Helps to Learn a Language
April 2, 2012

Learning a foreign language is never easy, but contrary to common wisdom, it is possible for adults to process a language the same way a native speaker does. And over time, the processing improves even when the skill goes unused, researchers are reporting.

For their study, in the journal PloS One, the scientists used an artificial language of 13 words, completely different from English.

The language dealt with pieces and moves in a computer game, and the researchers tested proficiency by asking test subjects to play the game.

The subjects were split into two groups. One group studied the language in a formal classroom setting, while the other was trained through immersion.

After five months, both groups retained the language even though they had not used it at all, and both displayed brain processing similar to that of a native speaker. But the immersion group displayed the full brain patterns of a native speaker.

Read the full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/how-immersion-helps-to-learn-a-new-language.html?_r=2

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