According to a study, just listening to the language we want to learn is critical, even if we don’t understand the words yet. Apparently, our ability to learn a second language is directly influenced by our exposure to the combination of sounds with which words are constructed, as it sets up the structures required to learn the language in our brain.
Dr Sulzberger from the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, claims that the neural tissue required to learn and understand a new language will develop automatically from simple exposure to the language, which is how babies learn their first language.
His research was prompted by his interest in finding out why it’s so difficult to learn foreign words when we are constantly learning new ones in our native language. He found the answer in the way the brain develops neural structures when hearing new combinations of sounds.
Looking for ways people could develop these structures to make the learning process easier, he came across a simple answer: extensive exposure to the language. Movies, radio broadcasts, songs and, most important, cultural immersion. Fortunately, globalisation and new technology make language learning way easier!
The importance of language travel: Dr Sulzberger maintains that people trying to learn a foreign language in their home country are at a disadvantage compared to those who travel to another country and immerse themselves in its sounds and culture.
Read the full article at Physorg.com