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考研英语时文赏读(83):为什么孩子更容易学会一家语言?

  摘要:考研英语作为一家考研公共课,虽然大家都学了英语十几年,却仍不时发生总分过线挂在英语上的情况,所以英语复习不只是单词、做题。阅读作为考研英语的洋,只开考研真题或许没法满足你的看量,所以帮帮之后会不定时推出一首英文美文,这些文章还和考研英语阅读同源,多读得有好处。

  Why kids learn languages more easily than you do

  为什么孩子比大人更容易学会一家语言

  Learning a second language is tricky at any age (and it only gets tougher the longer you wait to crack open that dusty French book). Now, in a new study, scientists have pinpointed the exact age at which your chances of reaching fluency in a second language seem to plummet: 10.

  第二报习得对其他年龄段的人数吧还不容易(并且,你在开辟那本已经积满灰尘的法语书上拖延的时间更长逾困难)。现在,科学家们在相同件新的研究中精确地指出了第二报习得时,你有机会达到流利水平的适当年龄分水岭:10年。

  The study, published in the journal Cognition, found that it's "nearly impossible" for language learners to reach native-level fluency if they start learning a second tongue after 10. But that doesn't seem to be because language skills go downhill.

  立即首发表在《咀嚼》达到的研究发现,如果语言学习者从10年以后才开始学,那么他惦记要达到母语水平的流利程度“几乎是不容许的”。尽管当时似乎并不是因为过了这个年龄语言技能就会落造成的。

  It turns out you're still learning fast," says study co-author Joshua Hartshorne, an assistant professor of psychology at Boston College. "It's just that you run out of time, because your ability to learn starts dropping at around 17 or 18 years old."

  该研究报告的共同作者、波士顿学院心理学助理教授乔舒亚·哈特肖恩说:“其实,你还是能够学得很赶忙,题材在于这你的时间已经不多了,因为到了17~18年左右,人口的学习能力就会起下降。”

  People who start a few years after age 10 may still become quite good at a language, the authors say, but they are unlikely to become fluent. Kids may be better than adults at learning new languages for many reasons.

  舆论指出,虽然那些刚过10年不久就开始学的子女还是可能掌握地很好,但是已经不尽可能达到了流利的水平了。儿女比人更容易掌握新的语言,立即背后或发生多由。

  Children’s brains are more plastic than those of adults, meaning they’re better able to adapt and respond to new information. “All learning involves the brain changing,” Hartshorne says, “and children’s brains seem to be a lot more adept at changing.”

  儿女的大脑有着比人的大脑更强的可塑性,也就是说,他们适应新消息并做出反馈的能力又强。哈特肖恩说:“有学习都跟大脑的改变有关,如果孩子的大脑对转移的适应能力似乎比人强得多。”

  Kids may also be more willing to try new things (and to potentially look foolish in the process) than adults are. Their comparatively new grasp on their native tongue may also be advantageous.

  儿女尝试新事物的愿望(在实际过程中可能会表现得比傻)啊比人更强。因为距离习得母语的时间相对较短,所以在当时方面或许也发生一定的优势。

  Unlike adults, who tend to default to the rules and patterns of their first language, kids may be able to approach a new one with a blank slate. These indings may seem discouraging, but it was heartening for scientists to learn that the critical period for fluent language acquisition might be longer than they previously thought.

  不和于大人,大人通常会沿用母语的规则和模式,儿女则可能因空白的态度采用新的方法上新的语言。尽管看似有些被人丧气,但是被人宽慰的是,科学家们发现,语言习得的重要时期可能比他们之前认为的若长。

  Some scientists believed that the brief window closes shortly after birth, while others stretched it only to early adolescence. Compared to those estimates, 17 or 18 — when language learning ability starts to drop off — seems relatively old.

  部分科学家认为短暂的语言学习窗口以出生后不久就会倒闭,其他有科学家则认为这同窗口能不断到青春期初。和那些估计相比,17,18年——啊不怕是语言学习能力起下降的时候——似乎已经是很大的年龄了。

  For the study, the researchers created an online quiz promising to guess people's native language, dialect and home country based on their responses to English grammar questions.

  在这项研究中,研究人员设计了一个根据大家对英语语法问题的回答,来怀疑大家的母语、白和母国的在线测试。

  At the end of the quiz, people entered their actual native language, if and when they had learned any others and where they had lived. The quiz went viral: almost 670,000 people took it, giving the researchers huge amounts of data from English speakers of many ages and backgrounds.

  测试时,大家要在测试末尾输入他们实际的母语,是不是学过、何时学过其他语言和他们在什么地方居住过。新兴,这项测试迅速传播:靠近67万人还参加了测试,啊研究人员提供了不同年龄,不同背景的英语使用者的海量数据。

  Analyzing the responses and grammar mistakes allowed them to draw unusually precise conclusions about language learning. The findings also offer insights for adults hoping to pick up a new tongue. People fared better when they learned by immersion, rather than simply in a classroom.

  通过分析大家的回答及其中的语法错误,研究者们得出了非常精确的关于语言习得的结论。这些发现也为那些希望学新语言的成年人提供了多真知灼见。浸入式学习的效用比单在教室里学习的效用更好。

  And moving to a place where your desired language is spoken is the best way to learn as an adult, says Hartshorne.

  大人学外语的时候,最好的学习方法就是搬到使用你想学的语言的地方去,哈特肖恩商谈。

  If that's not an option, you can mimic an immersive environment by finding ways to have conversations with native speakers in their own communities, Hartshorne says. By doing so, it's possible to become conversationally proficient—even without the advantage of a child's brain.

  如果这点不在选择范围内的话,啊可以通过想办法在协调所在的地方和该语言的母语人士交流模拟一个浸入式的语言学习环境,哈特肖恩商谈。这样一来,即使没有孩子大脑的优势,啊能够达到熟练对话的水平。

  (全文共542单词,时代周刊)

  ►再难点词汇:

  tricky  adj. 狡猾的;快的;困难的

  pinpoint  vt. 调查;准确地找到;准确描述 adj. 准确的;详尽的 n. 针尖;准确位置;极小之物

  plummet  n. 铅锤,坠子 vi. 笔直落下;(价格、水平相当)突然下降

  tongue  n. 舌头;语言 vt. 舔;非;所以舌吹 vi. 说话;吹管乐器

  adept  adj. 熟练的;擅长…的 n. 内行;权威

  discourage  vt. 阻碍;如果气馁

  dialect  n. 白,白;同源语;行话;私用语特征 adj. 白的

  immersion  n. 沉浸;陷于;全心全意

  mimic  vt. 宪章,摹拟 n. 效颦者,模仿者;仿制品;小丑 adj. 宪章的,宪章的;作伪的

  ►帮帮提示:考研英语同源外刊美文赏读汇总

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