Myths surrounding age and language learning

  • DATE

    27 April 2023

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

  • AGES

    All ages 13+



Instituto Cervantes Manchester and Leeds presents a new lecture series: “Acquiring a Second Language: Why do we find it so difficult?”, coordinated by Idoia Elola (Texas Tech University) and Ana Oskoz (University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), a forum aimed at teachers, language students, parents and the general public, which will consider how we learn a second, or a heritage language. Presenters will discuss various elements and difficulties that come with second-language acquisition including: myths and realities surrounding language acquisition and age, the effect of explicit knowledge and how it can affect learning, the use of language according to the context in which it is spoken, and the effect of education on our ability to learn a second language.

Third talk: “Myths surrounding age and language learning”, by Carmen Muñoz (University of Barcelona)
The perception that children have a great advantage in learning languages does not correspond to the school experiences of millions of people with many language courses behind them. This talk presents results from recent studies of language learning in schools across various countries that challenge traditional myths about the effects of age on learning, myths that have led to the introduction of second languages earlier and earlier in educational settings. These studies highlight the importance of other contributing factors, especially the context, the degree of immersion, and use of a language in its learning.

Carmen Muñoz is Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of Barcelona. Her areas of interest include the effects of age and context on second language learning, individual differences, and the effects of multimodality on language learning. She has coordinated a large number of national and international research projects and has published numerous papers. In 2016 he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from Eurosla (European Second Language Association).