Another Cognitive Secret Has Been Revealed
Is it possible to remember a language you never knew? Sounds like a screenplay for a sci-fi movie about artificial intelligence, but it is another revealed secret about the incredible human brain. Young children and babies of several months absorb audible sounds and words, and this is how they are learning a new language and start speaking. Seems like we all know this fact since the first years of school. But there are more intriguing facts.
Our Brain Is Hiding Information
A recent study published in the magazine of the Royal Society Open Science found that adults who were adopted in South Korea while they were babies and later raised in the Netherlands far outperformed all participants in the Korean language test, despite the fact that they not having learned this language themselves and did not even visit any Asian country since they were adopted.
The researchers compared the ability of both groups: those adults who were native and adopted in South Korea and those who were native Hollands how they all can pronounce the consonants of the Korean language. The success of this task was assessed by the native speakers of the Korean language. Initially, both groups were not very successful in performing the task practically. But the situation changed dramatically when both groups listened to several lectures of the Korean language.
The researchers found that after a brief introduction to the language, those adults who were born in South Korea pronounced consonants much better and performed other Korean language tests in significantly higher scores. In addition, it was observed that regardless of the age when they were adopted, the results of all participants of this group were almost the same.
In fact, it is very strange that no differences were found between those who were adopted at the age of six months and those who were adopted at the age of one and a half years. This means that even in the earliest months of life, language knowledge is acquired, and that it is associated not with single words or phrases but with abstract patterns of language. And it might be claimed that kids until the age of approximately two years old are just repeating the words without any understanding of the meaning.
What Did This Study Reveal?
This study partially complemented the understanding of language learning by revealing in what early age of life this process takes place. The process of language learning begins immediately after the birth. Moreover, this study reaffirmed that language learning is not a set of words but an abstract concept. This study thus has given new information for those who are still developing the idea of learning the language of their childhood. As it became clear after this experiment, such people will have a huge advantage in learning the language over those who have never heard the language before. Finally, there is a good tip: if you have young kid, try to talk to them as much as possible. Even if you think they will not understand, the babies will absorb and process everything what they hear.