By Birgit Harley
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Extra info for Age in second language acquisition
The special character of these in-school immersion programs, with their strong emphasis on communicative use of the second language for instrumental purposes, such as learning geography, mathematics, or science, makes them particularly interesting to investigate in relation to the overall question of age-related differences in L2 acquisition. The study presented in Part II does not attempt to make a broad comparison of all aspects of the French proficiency of the early and late immersion students involved, but concentrates instead on some specific aspects of their oral language proficiency as demonstrated in an interview setting.
In the long run, however, it is argued that those who begin L2 acquisition as children will be superior in ultimate L2 attainment, because those who begin later are likely to be inhibited by the sharply increased affective filter at puberty, due to the biological and cognitive changes the adolescent is experiencing. " In another version of the formal operations hypothesis and in line with the Chomskyan view that there is a separate innate faculty for language acquisition, Felix (1981) hypothesizes that there are highly developed "language-specific cognitive structures" (LSC) of a formal, abstract nature that are activated in L1 acquisition and in childhood L2 acquisition.
E. the rules of the L1 the adolescent is prone to developing a foreign accent and to making L1-based interference errors, which Krashen claims are largely absent in younger learners. Rosansky hypothesizes that what acts as a block to L2 learning is the awareness of differences that comes with formal operational thought. It is suggested that this awareness may interfere with the child's previous ability to focus only on underlying similarities between two languages. Rosansky also emphasizes the Piagetian notion of disequilibrium in association with the ability to acquire an L2.