Daily Archives: 2012/11/07

When it comes to learning a second language, the younger the better.

Source: Steve Sailer blog, Oct 2000

Chomsky’s younger MIT colleague, cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, author of the bestsellers “The Language Instinct” and “How the Mind Works,” states, “When it comes to learning a second language, the younger the better. In a large study of Chinese immigrants who entered the US at different ages, those who arrived after puberty showed the worst English language skills.

Still, this finding of ‘younger is better’ extended to far younger ages. People who began to learn English at six ended up on average more proficient than those who began at seven, and so on.” As an illustration, Pinker points to the famously thick German accent of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who arrived in America at age fourteen. In contrast, his younger brother developed a standard American accent.