ADVANCED - READING

As you read the story, think about the answers to these questions.
1. How can you increase your child's mathematics and logic skills?
2. Why is it hard for many adults to hear the difference between the letters /l/ and /r/?

Children Learn A Second Language Easily
"... better performance in Mathematics ..."

Research on second language learning shows that children who learn a second language at an early age reap many benefits. They have increased self esteem, they accept and understand other cultures more easily and can learn other languages more easily. Researchers have also found a connection between learning a second language early and better performance in Mathematics and Logic skills.

When babies hear two languages spoken around them more connections develop in their brains. They are able to learn both a first and second language more easily. Even as adults they learn a new language more easily than people who didn't hear two languages at a young age.

Patricia Kuhl from the University of Washington said babies are, 'the best learners in the universe.' Her studies show that babies can hear the differences between all the consonants and vowels used in any language. To learn a specific language they have to learn the sound oppositions that are meaningful in their language. For example, /r/ and /l/ are different sounds in English, but they are the same in Japanese. By the age of 12 months babies have mastered these rules in the language/s they hear. Babies who hear only Japanese spoken will have difficulty hearing the difference between the two sounds if they learn English when they are adults.