Why do children learn languages easily or easier than adults?

Elf
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"Nowadays, many children grow up in bilingual families and environments and thus acquire two languages as their first ones." 


http://brainblogger.com/2018/02/14/why-children-learn-foreign-languages-easily/ 


I will have to say that scientific research on this is somewhat scarce, but I myself have done lots of self-exploration, deep-diving and research, so I will provide you an extensive answer (from what I have acquired).  


The subconscious, or unconscious mind as some scientists call it, is what we are only born with. There is no separation and we haven't developed the conscious mind yet. We are an open, blank-pages book ready to learn, absorb and experience life on planet Earth. From that point of view, we acquire the knowledge of a new language with the unconscious mind, which means, resistant-free. As we grow and socialize, in this age, sometimes we limit ourselves and restrict our flow by incorporating lot of intellectual reasoning behind our, and/or other people's behaviour, or whatever kind of phenomena we are trying and willing to give an intellectual background and meaning to. Therefore, sometimes our brains lose plasticity and our flow gets restricted, as I said. We restrict the growth of our other senses too, usually for the benefit of intellectual dominance and/or superiority. Children/babies do not have this because they/we are pure subconscious (depends on the age though of course), guided by the subconscious and hence, resistance-free. 


But it's very possible for an adult to (re)learn to (recurrently) purify his/her body, mind and heart and bring it to a state of ecstasy and openness to receive whatever the conscious mind wants to receive. There are many techniques used to purify the subconscious and maintain its plasticity. So many people that have maintained their "elastic" brains/minds and speak multiple languages, have done so because they have full mastership of the desires of the subconscious and just let the conscious mind be the tool through which they set boundaries and let learn/do what they want to. 


The conclusion is that even the ones here speaking multiple languages have succeeded in that because of using the conscious mind to start learning, and let the conscious AND subconscious do its job (which ultimately there is no escape from), which usually means using/making no real effort in your learning process, no effort at least that is not Your personal choice and desire. Subconscious is very easily programmed. With love, you can make it learn whatever your conscious mind/you, would like to learn, because you are one with it. 


If this blog was or sounded too esoteric or complex to you, I apologize and am open to whatever questions and discussion. 




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#1
Ent
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Imo, although there are some aspects of language learning children do better at, in general adults are much better at learning languages. No offense intended, of course. These days we are bombarded with advertising that says "learn like a child" or even "learn like a baby". I find these humorous because to me it's like they are saying "learn really slowly".  

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#2
Ranger
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Interesting! Do you know any techniques to purify the subconscious?

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#3
Ent
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Jess.PWinkler wrote:
Interesting! Do you know any techniques to purify the subconscious?

I'm sure that was directed at the OP, but you can improve your mind's elasticity through mindful meditation. The state of mind you want to achieve is often referred to as beginner's mind.

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Elf
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Hey Jess, I can't seem to be able to quote on phone. 


Anyway, yes! One of the techniques is the one Leo mentioned! And I apologize I didn't introduce any of the techniques in the post, I did that the first time, but it got too extensive. I also shared the post with a friend, and he also told me it would have been better to have had introduced some. So yes, one is meditation, and getting in that "beginner's mind" or frequency/vibe I would say. It's when you embody the fact that you have zero knowledge and are ready to learn and receive, it's when the ego kind of dissapears or you put it aside. 

Meditation is not an easy practice for all people, usually people associate it with actually feeling nothing, but to achieve a state of meditation and/or reception, peace, channeling, you first go through the cleansing of your own emotions, thoughts, and similar. It's also part of the meditation anyway. You can sit down, follow your breath, and observe the breath with love and acceptance and then follow through all the emotions and thoughts you go through. That's how we connect to the subconscious, in silence. All the suppressed emotions and thoughts are placed there and they surface in meditation/silence, because the subconscious itself wants you to get to know it/yourself ;) 


So one technique is that one, but you can be meditative in any activity you take! Meaning creative expression is also a way of cleansing and rejuvenating. If you are practicing any type of art, art is also a meditative practice, just that besides communicating with yourself, you can sometimes communicate with other, sides (of you) let's say, while creating something :))) 


You can also do automatic writing when you channel your subconscious. Whatever puts you in communication and symbiosis with your subconscious, is the one that purifies it and makes you/it receptive to further knowledge and information. Music, dancing, painting, writing, drawing , acting 


In addition, if you incorporate playfulness in your language learning practice, or whatever learning practice you undertake for that matter, it's also a very good way to receive, remain receptive (and giving at the same time).


I think that would be it! Meditation is the best, and it's nothing but seeing all of you, spending more time with yourself, listening, at some point it just becomes hanging out with yourself, in silence 

And the states and experience evolves too

Maintance is also key = healthy lifestyle, as much you can/want 


Thank you for asking so much! I'm sorry if I am replying a bit late, I hope this helps, I tried to incorporate everything coming on my mind


Best, 





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#5
Elf
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leosmith wrote:
Imo, although there are some aspects of language learning children do better at, in general adults are much better at learning languages. No offense intended, of course. These days we are bombarded with advertising that says "learn like a child" or even "learn like a baby". I find these humorous because to me it's like they are saying "learn really slowly".


I don't understand how is a child learning slowly :))) Maybe if the child is talented into something totally different, then yes, it will be boring and repelling for it to learn languages, or something it doesn't want anyway. But a healthy child never learns/acquires slowly 


But I understand what you are saying. If there is a healthy adult, with a healthy consciousness and intellect, of course it will be a total pleasure and therefore a success for him/her to learn and master a language. But I see many people having struggles with it, so... 

That's how i see it. Complete me if you have anything 


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#6
Ent
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Mai wrote:
But a healthy child never learns/acquires slowly

Myths and Misconceptions about Second Language Learning

Are children really better at foreign language learning?

Do children learn languages better than adults?

etc.


This is a myth that's been spread around for a long time, and most fervently by companies marketing language learning products that claim to make you "learn like a child". It's sad that this misinformation is still out there, but the tide is turning, and the truth is finally being exposed.  

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#7
Elf
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This is not even a reliable or trustworthy source Leo, I gave above scientific reason why children's brain absorb way easily whatever they start learning, and they/we learn all the time, since they are a tabula rasa. Are you competing with children or what? Do you feel a need to compete with their capacities or? 


Cheers 


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#8
Ent
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Mai wrote:
This is not even a reliable or trustworthy source

The first link I gave you is full of references to scientific studies, and is written by an author of several second language acquisition books. Your article is written by a scientific and medical blog writer. Why is your source trustworthy, but mine isn't?

wrote:
children's brain absorb way easily

That theory has been strongly challenged through scientific research (Genesee, 1981; Harley, 1989; Newport, 1990). Even if it were true, that's only one factor in learning languages. Experimental research in which children have been compared to adults in second language learning has consistently demonstrated the inferiority of young children under controlled conditions (e.g., Asher & Price, 1967). 


After many years, people who start learning second languages as a child often reach higher levels in grammar and pronunciation than those who start as adults. But that doesn't mean children are better language learners.




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#9
Hobbit
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No debate here just my observation. 


 I have 2 kids. Their native language is English mine is Spanish. In my house we speak mostly English because my husband doesn't speaks Spanish. My kids will remember the words I choose to teach them in Spanish as first words (mostly because I didn't know how to say them in English lol).

What I noticed is that when they began to go to school and to learn the alphabet, how to write, etc it was easier for them to understand another language. Before they were kind of confused and didn't get the stuff. So as their brain matures their ability to learn, memorize and understand gets better.


I believe there are two aspects of this discussion like if you introduce two languages at the same time when they start to talk it would be easier to them but if they are learning a language as a second language I believe is easier and they grow up.

-Ari-

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#10
Elf
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Hey Aricandy, thank you so much for this direct experience! It's usually the most useful

Thank you! 


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