June 21, 2013

Seeing Images of Home Can Make Speaking a Foreign Language More Difficult

From http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/06/seeing-pictures-of-home-can-make-it-harder-to-speak-a-foreign-language

Seeing Pictures of Home Can Make It Harder To Speak a Foreign Language
Posted by Joseph Stromberg
June 17, 2013

If you’ve ever attempted to move to a foreign country and learn to speak the local language, you’re aware that successfully doing so is an enormous challenge.

But in our age of widely distributed Wi-Fi hotspots, free Skype video calls from one hemisphere to another and favorite TV shows available anywhere in the world over the web, speaking a foreign language may be more difficult than ever.

That’s because, as new research shows, merely seeing faces and images that you associate with home could make speaking in a foreign tongue more difficult. In a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Columbia University and Singapore Management University found that for Chinese students who’d recently moved to the U.S., seeing several different types of China-related visual cues measurably reduced their fluency in English.

Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/06/seeing-pictures-of-home-can-make-it-harder-to-speak-a-foreign-language/#ixzz2WdGSgqOX

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