The optimal starting age for second language learning : The case of Hong Kong Presenter : Shiao- Wei Paulinna Cheng Instructor : Dr. Pi- Ying Teresa Hsu Date : Oct. 27, 2008 1
SZE, P.(1994) The optimal starting age for second language learning: The case of Hong Kong. Journal of Primary Education,4 (2),49-54. 2
Content 3 2. A critical period for SLA? 3. Long term and qualitative differences 4. Research constraints 5. Findings 6. Personal reflection
The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss the literature on age-related differences in second language acquisition (SLA), with a view to obtaining insights which might inform our decision making in Hong Kong. 4 Introduction
A critical period for SLA
As far as the present discussion is concerned, students who start at age eight will be able to acquire English as a foreign language.
There is more reason to believe that the older instructed learner, whose cognitive ability is more developed, will fare better than the younger learner in the second language classroom.
Long term and qualitative differences 6
The crucial comparison is between the language proficiency of learners of two age groups who have learnt the second language for the same period of time.
Long term and qualitative differences (Cook,1986) 7
Time The duration of learning The time of the age which learning start The definition of time 8
While Primary 4 starters may initially progress faster than Primary1 starters, there is a lack of conclusive evidence supporting the Primary 4 starters will continued superiority in the long term.
Research constraints 9
In some areas, it is the late immersion students who perform better. Findings 10
Hong Kong Cantonese Chinese Reading and writing speaking Example: Hong Kong 11 Findings
Taiwan Chinese Reading and writing speaking Example: Taiwan 12 Findings
Example: Hong Kong 13 Findings Level subject P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 P6 English Chinese
• Mother language plays an important role. • The politics in a country may effect it’s educational policy. Personal reflection 14
monolingual bilingual Text book written in English Text book written in Chinese Schools in 1997 Hong Kong 15