Such idioms also are one of the hardest parts of learning Chinese; many Chinese second language learners, or CSL students, struggle with how to use Chinese idioms in daily Mandarin conversations and some students may even neglect to study chengyus all together. For those who are studying Chinese, it is absolutely necessary to learn some common idioms in the Mandarin Chinese language in your primary or elementary Chinese class.
They record, they process, they produce: You compare, you ponder, you analyse. To the point where you doubt: If I learn this language now, will I really be fluent?
Will I keep an accent?
Will I be able to remember all the vocabulary? Is it worth the effort if I leave this country in 2 years time? What about my children?
Should I force them to learn a new language? Am I expecting too much from them? Answering those questions is important because it can help you adjust expectations, delay or anticipate a relocation, avoid regrets till the end of your life.
What my experience taught me I speak 5 languages. My children are all trilingual French, Dutch and English. They were raised bilingually from birth and acquired English later on. My empirical conclusion is that you can learn a language at any age. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
Children and adults learn differently. Children learn implicitly, adults learn explicitly. We as adults want to understand the structure of the language: We need to memorize lists of words and conjugation patterns.
We must practise the sounds, used in that particular language. Children learners outperform adult learners in the long run. From the combination of both elements was derived the critical period hypothesis CPH.
There are several versions of the CPH. Neuroscientists justify the end of this first period by the decrease of our brain plasticity starting around age 5. Children would be more likely to reach the native speaker fluency without any foreign accent.
This argument is supported by the type of braincells involved in the mastery of sounds.
They would cease to develop around age Children would still be able to speak with native-like competence but with a foreign accent. After 16 years old, the exposure to a new language would definitely define you as a second language speaker, with a level of proficiency including grammar, syntax, vocabulary and accent never comparable to a native speaker.
So in order to test the validity of the CPH, I decided to run a little experiment. I recorded several persons having acquired English in different periods of their lives.
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