• Current Events, Politics
    & Science

    Welcome Guest
    Please read before posting:
    Forum Guidelines Bluelight Rules
  • CEPS Moderators: cduggles | Deru | mal3volent
  • Bluelight HOT THREADS
  • Let's Welcome Our NEW MEMBERS!

Science Neuroscientists have finally figured out why speaking a new language is so hard for adults

cduggles

Moderator: CEPS, Words
Staff member
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Messages
14,112
Location
A chromatically corrected world
[

Neuroscientists have finally figured out why speaking a new language is so hard for adults​

If you’re trying to speak a new foreign language, your adult brain is working against you.​

There’s a reason why you trip over your tongue when learning a foreign language: The adult brain pigeonholes speech in the left hemisphere, displaying minimal plasticity, according to a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Spanish researchers used fMRIs to track neural activity as participants read, listened to, and spoke new languages over time. They found that as participants gained proficiency, their brains recruited from both hemispheres to read and comprehend; notably, their neural activity patterns for comprehension varied widely from person to person. But speech production remained firmly cornered in the left hemisphere, with minimal change.

Translation: It’s much easier to learn to read and understand than it is to speak fluently. This also suggests that speaking is hardwired to the left hemisphere, while comprehension is flexible, engaging more plasticity.

They also found that when first learning, the neural activity of native and new languages appear similar in the brain, but as students improve, the two languages’ neural activity becomes more distinct.

The take home message here: If speaking beautifully isn’t a priority, you’ll likely find more success learning to understand and read.[/quote]

 

Deru

Moderator: CEPS
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
2,327
This reminds me of my Spanish 5 class in high school where we had to speak 100% of the time in Spanish. Not only speaking fluently is more difficult, but comprehending a fluent speaker is more difficult that reading and writing alone.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
10,509
Alas like most Americans I can't speak anything but English and a tiny amount of Spanish. Laaame. :(
 

Jane_

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 20, 2020
Messages
25
Very interesting. I was taught French in school so I remember 95% of it still. But out of pandemic bordem I am trying to learn Spanish. In a couple months I still barely know anything
 

Xorkoth

🎨 ARTministrator 🎨
Staff member
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Messages
49,661
Location
In the mountains
Yeah I only know English fluently... I know some Spanish from exposure, and similarity to French, which I know from high school (3 years and never conversational), but I have forgotten so much. I REALLY wish I was multilingual, I am so curious about what that's like. If I ever have a kid, I'm going to have them learn another language as a child. Spanish seems prudent, and probably Mandarin tbh. Because one of the main reasons I DON'T want to have a kid is I'm not really at all sure things will be too great in the decades to come. And China is probably going to be the dominant world power so it seems prudent to know how to communicate.
 

andyturbo

Moderator: AADD, MDMA, TL; Administrator: PR.net
Staff member
Joined
Dec 12, 2006
Messages
2,814
Location
Melbourne - Under the lasers
When it comes to languages with native characters I would disagree. I can speak mandarin almost fluently but writing I still struggle with. Its a whole new dimension adding characters (as it would be for japonese and even arabic)
 

Pfafffed

Bluelighter
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Messages
875
Yeah, there's something about Arabic writing. It's just way harder to pick up than it has any right to be. Sanskrit, too - other Devanagri based languages are way easier with their simplified diacritics.
 

JessFR

Sr. Moderator: AADD, H&R, TDS
Staff member
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
10,509
At least Arabic isn't logographic with thousands upon thousands of different symbols.


Right? I'm pretty sure that's right but I don't know languages well enough to be sure. Blame an unfinished American public school education, that's a lot working against me at once. :p
 
Top