Learning a Different Language

The following sample Linguistics essay is 321 words long, in MLA format, and written at the undergraduate level. It has been downloaded 624 times and is available for you to use, free of charge.

If I was given another chance, I would push myself to learn Spanish as a child in school. This would be beneficial because studies suggest that people who learn and use a second language at a young age are typically more competent in that language than those who learn a second language later in life. Furthermore, learning a second language as a child can benefit academic performance.

There are claims that learning a second language is easier for children, however, this is not necessarily true. According to an article written by Jan Vanhove, who works for the Department of Multilingualism in Switzerland, “second-language learners starting acquisition early in life – and staying exposed to input and thus learning over several years or decades –undisputedly tend to outperform later learners” (1). Children who learn a second language are exposed to it for a longer period of time during their life and this is what increases their aptitude. However, one's cognitive ability for acquistion is also a determinant as various informational abstracts from language studies show. Learning a second language early in life also benefits other areas of study. The results of a study by Professor Mark Leikin showed that “there were definite distinctions between monolingual and bilingual children, to the advantage of the latter, in terms of creativity in problem solving” (442). The fact that learning a second language early in life improves a person’s ability to speak that language, and can increase academic performance, coupled with the fact that Spanish is the second most common language in America and many native Spanish speakers are long-term ESL students, is why I would learn Spanish as a child if I were given another chance to do so.

Works Cited

Leikin, Mark. "The Effect of Bilingualism on Creativity: Developmental and Educational Perspectives." International Journal of Bilingualism 17.4 (2013): 431-447. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Oct. 2013

Vanhove, Jan. "The Critical Period Hypothesis in Second Language Acquisition: A Statistical Critique and a Reanalysis." Plos ONE 8.7 (2013): 1-15. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Oct. 2013.