Brain Research Confirms Developmental Stages for Language Learning

Every healthy child is born with 100 billion brain cells, and each cell makes up to 20,000 connections. Whether these brain cells make connections or whether they die depends on if a child lives in an enriched environment (Buzan, 1984; Diamond, 1988; Ornstein, 1984, 1986).

What is an enriched environment? An enriched environment is one that provides plenty of sensory stimulation. Marian Diamond, a brain researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, has produced some of the world’s most intelligent rats. When she put the rats in cages filled with games, puzzles, mirrors, colors, and textures, they grew more brain tissue. When she put the rats into non-enriched cages, their brains shrank (Diamond, 1988).

How can you teach a second or third language to Young Children?

Infants can learn by listening, seeing, imitating, and practicing. So talk to them from the start. Tell them what you are doing. Introduce them to rhymes, songs, games, and counting in a second or third language. If you can’t speak another language yourself, get plenty of tapes. Consider boarding a foreign student. Most importantly, make learning fun!

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