Unraveling how children become bilingual so easily*
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer – Tue Jul 21, 3:08 am ET
WASHINGTON – The best time to learn a foreign language: Between birth and age 7. Missed that window?
New research is showing just how children's brains can become bilingual so easily, findings that scientists hope eventually could help the rest of us learn a new language a bit easier.
"We think the magic that kids apply to this learning situation, some of the principles, can be imported into learning programs for adults," says Dr. Patricia Kuhl of the University of Washington, who is part of an international team now trying to turn those lessons into more teachable technology.
Each language uses a unique set of sounds. Scientists now know babies are born with the ability to distinguish all of them, but that ability starts weakening even before they start talking, by the first ...
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* ©The Associated Press 2009