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Speaking a new language is difficult for adults

  • It is easier to learn to read and understand a new language than it is to speak it.
  • According to a recent study, the adult brain compartmentalizes speech in the left hemisphere, showing minimal plasticity.
  • As people become proficient in a language, their brains use both hemispheres to read and understand, but speech production remains cornered in the left hemisphere.

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Research shows that children are proficient at learning a second language up until the age of 18, roughly ten years later than earlier estimates. It also shows that it is best to start another language by age ten if you want to achieve the grammatical ability of a native speaker.

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