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Monday, May 04, 2009

The Advantage of Being a 40 Year-old Learner

Everybody knows that for a person to learn a new language, the younger the better. If you can start learning at 4 years old, it certainly beats learning it at 40 years old.

It's certainly true. But that doesn't mean that 40 year old doesn't have his own advantages.

The number one advantage is: The concentration level a 40 year old can bring into his study. He can put two hours every day to study. And he is conscious about what he is doing and where he can improve. You will not expect a 4 year old to do that. And that makes a huge difference on the outcome.

The second one is: The cognition level is a huge advantage for a grown up to learn a new language, not only the language, but also the culture behind the language. He certainly appreciates it more than his 4 year old counter part.

The last one is: A 40 year old requires shorter time than a 4 year old. Time is definitely 40 year old's best friend. For example, if a 40 year old dedicates himself into learning Mandarin Chinese for one year, and by the time he turns 41, he can function well anywhere in China. But you can not expect the same thing to a 4 year old.