Age and sla: a critical Review

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Age and SLA: A Critical Review

By: Alison L. Strzepek

AL-8250 Term Paper


In learning a second language, there are a number of variables that influence actual acquisition. Age, anxiety, motivation, learning style, personality, aptitude, attitude and sex all play a role in the acquirement of a second language. However, no other variable has generated as much discussion and conflicting evidence as age. Even though a plethora of studies and research has been done on this topic, people are still wondering how age affects second language acquisition.

This paper summarizes the different views and approaches to age and SLA. It begins by attempting to define SLA. What do experts consider actual acquisition to be? Is only native like proficiency considered to be language acquisition or can near-native like proficiency also be considered? Then, the general views and apparent facts on the topic are discussed. Next, it will give reasons and motivations for study of this topic. What do the results of various studies imply for both language teachers and language learners? This study will also talk about the historical origins and developments in the field of age and second language acquisition. Neurolingustic factors that explain the actual science and physical characteristics of the brain when learning a second language will be discussed. Also, different hypothesis and views on the topic such as the critical period hypothesis, the sensitive period hypothesis, the concept of universal grammar, and maturational constraints in SLA will be compared and reviewed. Finally, this review will give ideas on future implications of this topic and suggestions for future studies on age and SLA.

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