Hypothesis Testing - Six Sigma Material
Some writers have argued that the critical period hypothesis does not apply to SLA, and that second-language proficiency is determined by the time and effort put into the learning process, and not the learner's age. Robertson (2002) observed that factors other than age may be even more significant in successful second-language learning, such as personal motivation, anxiety, input and output skills, and the learning environment. A combination of these factors often leads to experiences.
Academics | Clemson University, South Carolina
The critical period hypothesis in SLA follows a "use it then lose it" approach, which dictates that as a person ages, excess neural circuitry used during L1 learning is essentially broken down. If these neural structures remained intact they would cost unnecessary metabolic energy to maintain. The structures necessary for L1 use are kept. On the other hand, a second "use it or lose it" approach dictates that if an L2 user begins to learn at an early age and continues on through his life, then his language-learning circuitry should remain active. This approach is also called the "exercise hypothesis".
Support for the critical period theory stems largely from theoretical arguments and analogies to other critical periods in biology such as visual development. Strictly speaking, the experimentally verified relates to a time span during which to the development of the visual system can occur, for example if animals are deprived of the necessary binocular input for developing . It has however been considered "likely", and has in many cases been flatly presented as fact, that experimental evidence would point to a comparable critical period also for of such development and ; however this is a hypothesis. Recently, doubts have arisen concerning the validity of this critical period hypothesis with regard to visual development, in particular since the time it became known that neuroscientist and others have as adults, long after the supposed critical period for acquiring this skill.
A theory posited in 2004 by MIT professor Andrew Lo
The critical period hypothesis is the subject of a long-standing debate in and over the extent to which the ability to acquire is biologically linked to age. The hypothesis claims that there is an ideal time window to acquire language in a linguistically rich environment, after which further language acquisition becomes much more difficult and effortful.
Critical Thinking in the Oxford Tutorial
Through my own experience, I support the critical period hypothesis. I agree with the results of the Canadian study that there is an optimum arrival age in learning a second language. Observing the rate at which my relatives from Korea acquire English strengthens my support of the critical period hypothesis. The difference in learning between my young cousins of ages between 5 and 12 and their middle-age parents is immense. The children grow up and learn their second language to the point where an accent is no longer evident. However, the adults who continue to live in the United States for 15 to 20 years still speak with a thick accent and limited vocabulary. This may not be the case at all times, as seen in the Dutch experiment, but by my own personal experience, the critical period hypothesis seems to be accurate.
Critical t on the TI-83/84/89 — TC3 (Brown)
The language tests used in both of these studies were similar. Therefore, it is difficult to blame the differences in results upon the methods of experimentation. However, some possible confounding variables may have been the descriptions of the subjects. The Canadian study consisted of Subjects from a variety of different languages (Ramsey & Wright, 1974). However, in the Dutch study, all of the subjects came from an English-speaking background (Snow & Hoefnagel-Hohle, 1978). This homogenous sample may have caused this study to reject the critical period hypothesis and decrease its generalizability. Another possible factor that may have accounted for the contrasting results is the amount of tests that each subject group took. In the Dutch group, the subjects were given the test three times. The study done in Toronto only tested the subjects once. This increases the probability of statistical regression in which a subject's score may have been uncharacteristically extreme and therefore not a clear representation of the subject's true ability.
How to compute the critical point in a t distribution for TC3
For the same exact hypothesis, the studies "The Critical Period for Language Acquisition: Evidence from Second Language Learning" and "Age and Second Language Learning" produced contrasting results. Generally, the critical period hypothesis, which states that there is an optimum language acquisition period, is widely accepted. Studies such as "Age and Second Language Learning" conduct tests and obtain results that support the critical period hypothesis (Ramsey & Wright, 1974). However, in studies such as "The Critical Period for Language Acquisition: Evidence from Second Language Learning," the results obtained do not support the critical period hypothesis.