How age affects second language acquisition is an interesting topic for most of the educators who have to develop appropriate curriculum and instructional strategies for immigrant students of different age. Some educator such as Chipongian (2000) believe” younger is better in the long run” but some educators think the opposite. The researchers who believe that younger children can acquire second language easier than adults attribute this to the human “critical period”. What is Critical Period Hypothesis (CPH)?
A critical period was originally postulated by Lenneberg in 1967 for first language acquisition and the CPH is a biological determined period from birth to puberty during which the language acquisition is easier. Pathologists’ studies that child who failed before puberty to acquire their first language may lack adequate linguistic competence. This is because by the age thirteen to fifteen, “our cerebral hemispheres functions separate and become set which makes the language acquisition extremely difficult”. (Lenneberg, 1967) Jean Piaget outlined the intellecture development in a child through different stages: (Douglas Brown, 2000, P.61) Sensorimotor stage --- birth to two
Preoperational stage --- ages two to seven
Operation stage --- ages seven to sixteen
A. Concrete operational stage --- ages seven to eleven
B. Formal operational stage --- ages eleven to...